A police officer in Flagstaff, Arizona is under investigation after a Facebook video showing him punching a woman in the face while arresting her came to the attention of the Flagstaff Police Department. According to a media statement posted to the Flagstaff Police Department's Facebook page on Wednesday night, the "agency is very concerned by what is depicted in this video."
In the first of two press releases published by the FPD, the department appeared to want to mitigate the fault of the officer Jeff Bonar by writing, "During the arrest, the female, who appears somewhat uncooperative, was struck in the face by the officer."
However, in a second statement posted shortly after the first one on Wednesday, the FPD updated their initial statement by writing, "The officer has been identified as Officer Jeff Bonar. He has been placed on administrative leave. An internal affairs investigation is being initiated."
You can watch the shocking video, which clearly shows the officer striking the woman, below. We should warn you that it obviously features disturbing content:
The victim's boyfriend, Jimmy Sedillo, told the Arizona Republic that he and the victim received an eviction notice for their home the previous week, and police officers, including Bonar, came to observe the couple leave their home. Sedillo said Bonar recognized the victim for having a warrant out for her arrest.
The Arizona Republic reports that Sedillo, his two young children, ages 3 and 9, his mother, niece, and brother-in-law were all at the house and saw the victim get punched and tackled by Bonar. Danny Paredes, Sedillo's brother-in-law, said he "immediately" pulled out his camera to record the incident.
In the video, the victim can be heard saying, "You can't arrest me until I know you have a warrant." After several seconds of the victim resisting, Bonar can be clearly seen punching the victim in the face. The victim then turns toward her family looking shocked. Sobbing, the victim asks, "What did I do?" as Bonar yells, "Get on the ground!" and another officer places the victim in handcuffs.