Society

Officer Placed On Leave After Punching Woman (Video)

| by Michael Doherty

An Arizona police officer has been placed on administrative leave after a video (below) surfaced online that showed him punching a woman in the face.

Flagstaff Police Department has launched an internal investigation after learning about the video, according to The Washington Post. The officer in the video has been identified as Jeff Bonar, while the woman being arrested is Marissa Morris, 30.

In the video, Morris is seen being arrested by Flagstaff officers. Morris challenges whether the officers can arrest her, saying, "You cannot arrest me until I know that I have a warrant!" Suddenly, Bonar is seen punching Morris in the face.

"Hey! You can't hit a girl like that!" says another man in the video after the punch. Morris is heard crying, and the officers continue the arrest.

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"You're going to get tased," said Bonar to Morris in the clip. "Get on the ground."

Witnesses in the video are heard telling Morris to "just let him arrest you," as officers place the woman in handcuffs.

"I didn't do anything!" Morris screams as she is being arrested. "I don't have a warrant!"

After the video, which has been shared on Facebook more than 78,000 times, according to ABC News, came to the attention of the Flagstaff Police Department, Bonar has been placed on administrative leave.

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Kevin Treadway, the Flagstaff police chief, has also called for an independent investigation into Bonar's actions during the arrest.

"I am as concerned with what is depicted in the video as I know many others are," said Treadway. "We owe Marissa, her family, the Flagstaff community, the officer and the department a full and complete investigation."

Bonar said in a police report that Morris kicked him and kneed him the groin before he punched her, which cannot be seen in the video, which only shows the top half of Morris' body.

The Nov. 16 incident occurred while Bonar was serving an eviction. He recognized Morris, reportedly thinking there was a warrant for her arrest.

The department later found that Morris' warrants were no longer valid, and she was charged with aggravated assault and resisting arrest. Morris was arraigned and released the next day.

In a statement on the incident, Treadway called for patience as the investigation proceeds.

"We are taking this, again, very, very seriously," he said. "It will be a very in-depth investigation but that takes just a little bit of time."

Warning: Video contains some strong language.

Sources: ABC News, The Washington Post / Photo credit: Karrmann/Wikimedia Commons

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