KEY POINTS

  • The deputy reported that the victim resisted arrest and refused to follow orders
  • A supervisor found inconsistencies in his report and the bodycam footage
  • The deputy was relieved from duty on the same day of the incident
  • The case was presented to prosecutors only three months later

A California Sheriff's deputy who was accused of assaulting a mentally disabled woman while responding to a disturbance call and lying about the incident has been charged, according to officials.

Konrad Thieme, 37, a former deputy with Los Angeles County Sheriff's office, was charged Wednesday with two felony counts of assault under the color of authority and a felony count of making false statements in a report, the district attorney's office said, as per the New York Post.

Thieme was accused of assaulting the victim, Sarah Jafari, in an unprovoked attack while responding to a call in her home in Chatsworth along with two other deputies in April 2021. Thieme's encounter with the 32-year-old unarmed woman was partially captured on a body camera worn during the incident, Los Angeles Times reported.

The footage from the bodycam showed Thieme approaching Jafari while she walked backward with her hands out. He punched her throat, causing her to fall backward onto her head. Meanwhile, other deputies shocked her with a Taser.

Thieme then grabbed her by the hair and tossed her into the back of a patrol car "like a rag doll," according to a lawsuit filed by Jafari in December. 

Thieme later made a false report saying Jafari resisted arrest and refused to follow his orders. He said he feared Jafari was stalling to retrieve a weapon, which she denied possessing at the time. He also tried to strike her torso but accidentally struck her neck. Jafari then rolled over and reached for her waistband, and the deputies used the Taser on her as she kicked her legs at them, Thieme reportedly wrote in the report.

The deputies returned home later and tried to convince Jafari's mother to say that her daughter carried a knife during the incident, but she refused, the lawsuit claimed.

However, a supervisor who reviewed Thieme's report found inconsistencies in his account and the footage from the body camera.

Thieme was relieved from duty on the same day of the incident, but the case was presented to the prosecutors only after three months. It is unclear why the case was delayed.

"Police accountability is an essential component of a fair and just criminal legal system. Our office will not tolerate abuses of power that result in criminal acts by law enforcement officers who are sworn to protect our community," District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement Wednesday, according to Los Angeles Times.

police-4566193_1280 (1) Representative image Photo: Credit: Pixabay / Fleimax