PHOENIX — A Flagstaff police officer has been placed on administrative leave after a video showing him punching a woman in the face surfaced Wednesday on Facebook, according to a police spokesman.
The Flagstaff Police Department "became aware" of the video, which shows Officer Jeff Bonar striking the woman during a Wednesday afternoon arrest, about 7:30 p.m. MT, police Sgt. Cory Runge said in a statement.
"Our agency is very concerned by what is depicted in this video," Runge said. "We are immediately initiating an internal investigation into this incident."
Flagstaff resident Jimmy Sedillo identified the woman in the video as his girlfriend when contacted by The Arizona Republic. He said the pair had received an eviction notice the previous week, and Wednesday was their deadline to leave.
He said officials, including Bonar, came to watch the couple leave and lock up the house. But when Bonar saw Sedillo's girlfriend walk out of the house, he identified her as having a warrant out for her arrest.
“She had a warrant a few weeks ago,” Sedillo said. “He still assumed she had a warrant.”
Sedillo said he and his 3- and 9-year-old children, mother, niece and brother-in-law watched his girlfriend get hit and tackled. His brother-in-law, Danny Paredes, shot the video shared on Facebook.
“It was just shocking,” Paredes said. “I pulled out my camera immediately.”
The video later shows an official who appears to be from the Coconino County Sheriff's Office helping Bonar hold the woman down and arrest her as she cries, "I didn't do anything, I didn't do anything."
Flagstaff police said they would release further details "as the investigation progresses."
The Arizona Republic