A police officer in Washington, D.C. was caught on video (below) holding a small black woman off the ground and up against a squad car, fueling outrage on social media.
The video was posted online on August 15 by Twitter user MacAndCheeks, and went viral with over 6,000 retweets and numerous outraged commenters.
"We’ve been made aware of the video and contacted their commanding officer," D.C. Police Department spokeswoman Rachel Schaerr told The Washington Post. "If they did anything wrong, they will be held accountable," she added.
The verbal exchange is hard to make out, but the woman was apparently questioned by the officer about her age at one point.
The woman, the officer and a second officer on the scene have not been identified yet.
Tod Burke, an ex-cop and current criminal justice professor at Redford University, opined: "There’s a lot of things we just don’t know by looking at this."
"It’s just very difficult to tell," he added.
D.C. Police Spokesman Officer Sean Hickman told the New York Daily News that the officers were part of the 4th District, but didn't offer any more information.
Many Twitter users thought the woman might have been a teen because of her height and because she was carrying books.
The incident, which happened near an elementary school and Howard University, did not result in an arrest.
The woman told WTTG that she got into a verbal exchange with an unidentified man who was allegedly harassing a second woman.
The woman, who declined to reveal her name publicly, said the police thought she might be a threat and subsequently pinned her to the police car.
"It was harassment and I asked for the police officer's badge -- they wouldn't give me no names, no numbers or nothing -- so I left -- I never knew this was being recorded," she recalled.