Authorities in Colorado say they are investigating an intense video that shows a police officer slamming a female college student to the ground.
“There will be an internal review of the officer’s actions from the perspective of policy and procedure,” Fort Collins police Chief John Hutto said in a Sunday press release.
The video was filmed Thursday and circulated on social media over the weekend. It shows a Fort Collins police officer grab a woman by the arm outside a nightclub and throw her face-first to the sidewalk.
Police identified the woman as Michaella Surat, 22. The Coloradoan reports she’s a junior at Colorado State University.
Hutto said it’s too soon to tell whether the officer’s actions were abusive.
“Rarely in use of force situations is there agreement from all the parties involved as to the appropriateness, efficacy, or necessity of its use,” he said.
While the nine-second cellphone video captures the moment the officer throws Surat to the ground, it does not show what happened in the seconds before.
Hutto says Surat had tried to intervene when police detained her boyfriend for questioning in an unrelated investigation.
“Surat shoulder-checked the bouncer and an officer and then pulled her boyfriend from the area,” Hutto said. “The officers told her that her boyfriend was not free to leave but that she could go. She remained at the scene, at which time she physically obstructed and struck an officer.”
In a statement to NBC News, Fort Collins police spokeswoman Kate Kimble described Surat’s takedown as a “standard arrest technique.”
Hutto said the officer, who has not been identified, was wearing a body camera. However, authorities have not released that footage.
“I have no control over the video that is already in the public domain, but I do have control over the release of the video evidence from our body worn cameras,” Hutto said. “This is an open investigation and to release evidence, absent a truly compelling reason, would not be proper. I am committed to preserving a process that ensures a fair and impartial outcome.”
Surat, who faces charges of obstruction and third-degree assault, was booked into the Larimer County Jail. She’s since been released on $1,750 bond. She has not filed a complaint against the arresting officer.