A police officer in Arizona has been caught on camera violently punching an unsuspecting woman in the face during an arrest.
The officer has been placed on leave following the release of a video online.
New York Post reports:
The Flagstaff Police Department learned of the video Wednesday. It shows Officer Jeff Bonar punching a woman during an arrest earlier in the day, Sgt. Cory Runge said in a statement to the Arizona Republic.
“Our agency is very concerned by what is depicted in this video,” Runge said. “We are immediately initiating an internal investigation into this incident.”
The seven-minute video, which has been shared more than 1,700 times since Wednesday’s incident, shows Marissa Morris, 30, of Flagstaff, arguing with two officers, claiming that she does not have an active warrant.
“You cannot arrest me! I know my laws,” Morris yells. “You cannot arrest me until I know that I have a warrant. I need to hear it.”
Someone off-camera then tells Morris that she should let the officers “run her name” to verify she no longer has an active warrant for her arrest.
A warrant for Morris’ arrest had been issued for failure to appear in court on a DUI charge, but it was no longer active, the Republic reported.
One of the officers — apparently Bonar — then tells Morris to “stop resisting” before Bonar throws a right cross to her face.
“Hey, you can’t hit a girl like that!,” the man shooting the video says. He then confirms that he caught the entire incident on video. “Hey, what the f–k.”
Morris is seen crying, holding her face before she is eventually led into a squad car. Bonar also threatened to use his Taser if she resisted further.
Bonar has no recorded disciplinary history, according to Sandy Sierra, a spokeswoman for the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board, the Republic reported.
Jimmy Sedillo said in the video that Morris is his girlfriend. He said they received an eviction a week earlier and were due to vacate the residence Wednesday.
Sedillo said Bonar and other authorities were watching the couple leave and lock up the home, but Bonar identified Morris as she left the house as having a warrant out for her arrest.
“She had a warrant a few weeks ago,” Sedillo told the newspaper. “He still assumed she had a warrant.”
Sedillo, along with his two children, mother, niece and brother-in-law, then watched as Morris was tackled. Sedillo’s brother-in-law, Danny Paredes, caught the melee on video and later shared it on Facebook.
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