Facebook user Sheila Woodard published a Facebook Live video (below) on Dec. 31 of a police SUV crashing into a man, who was reportedly holding a knife, in Buffalo, New York.
"I actually thought they were going to tase him, so I started taping and it just escalated from there," Woodard told WKBW.
The Buffalo Police Internal Affairs Division has begun an investigation into the officer's actions, notes WGRZ.
Several cops reportedly surrounded the man before the video showed the SUV driving into him.
The man was subsequently transported in an ambulance to Erie County Medical Center. According to police, the man had non-life-threatening injuries.
The video was removed from Facebook by Woodard on Jan. 1 after the police department said it was going to launch an investigation of the incident.
Tom Burton, a lawyer who represents the unidentified officer via the Police Benevolent Association police union, told WGRZ that the officer acted properly to save the life of another policeman who is not seen on the video.
According to Burton, the officer has not been placed on leave.
"There's no hiding from what happened," Burton added. "This cop was motivated by preventing this fellow from hurting himself or anyone else."
The police department has not yet identified the officer or the man hit by the SUV.
According to police spokesperson Michael DeGeorge, the man was making threats against the officers, but it's not clear what the original police call was about. DeGeorge said the incident began inside a home, and moved out to the street.
Burton told WKBW that there are only two Tasers in the entire Buffalo Police Department.
Lt. Jeff Rinaldo said that a Taser would not likely have been effective because of the winter clothing the man was wearing.
"The Taser is an in-between alternative between physical force that might entail having to grapple with somebody, and the other end of the spectrum, bringing out the guns," Burton told WGRZ. "One would think the Taser would have been an absolutely ideal alternative here."