A uniformed Arizona police officer who was filmed punching a woman has been placed on administrative leave while the incident is investigated.
“Our agency is very concerned by what is depicted in this video,” police in Flagstaff, Arizona, said in a Wednesday evening press release.
The footage, shot and posted to Facebook on Wednesday, shows a woman struggling with two officers who apparently believe there is an outstanding warrant for her arrest. She can be heard on video saying the issue has already been resolved.
“You cannot arrest me until I know I have a warrant,” she tells the officers as she struggles with them.
Suddenly, one of them strikes her in the face with a closed fist.
Authorities have identified that officer as Jeff Bonar. They haven’t released the name of the woman, but she identifies herself in the video as Marissa Morris.
Note: The footage and descriptions of it below contain explicit language.
“You just fucking punched me in the face,” Morris can be heard yelling after Bonar hits her.
A number of people appear to be watching the scene from a porch. The man who filmed the confrontation — identified by The Arizona Republic as Danny Paredes — can be also heard shouting, “Hey, you can’t hit a girl like that.”
Bonar cuffs Morris and the two other officers lead her away and place her in the back of a patrol car while a man ― presumably Paredes ― can be heard saying, “I got it on video, Marissa.”
Morris’ boyfriend, Jimmy Sedillo, told The Arizona Republic he and his children, ages 3 and 9, witnessed the incident.
“She had a warrant a few weeks ago,” Sedillo said. “He still assumed she had a warrant.”
Sedillo told Phoenix’s KTVK his girlfriend was ultimately charged with assaulting an officer and resisting arrest.
Morris, who reportedly remains behind bars, could not be reached for comment.
“An internal affairs investigation is being initiated,” Flagstaff police said. “Further details will be released as the investigation progresses.”