A Flagstaff, Arizona police officer is on leave pending an investigation into a video that showed him punch a woman in the face on Wednesday.
According to Jimmy Sedillo, cops were at his residence to serve an evection notice as he and his girlfriend, Marissa Morris, were moving their stuff across the street. That’s when officer Jeff Bonar began arresting Morris for warrants.
Sedillo said that Morris refused to go with Bonar and attempted to tell him that there must be a mistake until the officer showed her the warrants and explained what they were for.
According to Flagstaff Police Chief Kevin Treadway, who briefly addressed the incident during a press conference on Thursday, the officers initially serving the evection notice were with the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.
He said they contacted the Flagstaff Police Department and Bonar recognized Morris, who he thought had two warrants in place as of Oct. 18 for failure to appear in court for a DUI and resisting arrest charge.
Cellphone video recorded from the scene shows Bonar attempting to physically move Morris before she appears to resist and he draws back and punches her directly in the face.
“He literally tackled her in front of my mom’s house,” Sedillo said. “She weighs maybe 110 pounds, maybe the officer was maybe 220. He went around the whole thing all wrong.”
According to Treadway, it was determined that Morris’ warrants were no longer valid and had already been served following her arrest. He said Bonar claimed in his police report that Morris kicked and kneed him before he punched her.
Following the incident, Morris was charged with aggravated assault and resisting arrest, and Bonar was placed on administrative leave while an investigation was launched to review what occurred.
Treadway said that body-cam footage was also recorded during the arrest, and maintained that it would be released to the public on the Flagstaff Police Department’s Facebook page in the “spirit of transparency.”
“I am as concerned with what is depicted in the video as I know many others are,” Treadway said. “I have heard your concerns and the department is taking this incident very seriously.”
Local news coverage containing raw footage: