Continuing a trend of excessive force caught on camera, a police officer from Flagstaff, Arizona, was filmed on cellphone video punching a woman in the face.
When Flagstaff Police Officer, Jeff Bonar recognized a woman who he thought he had a warrant for, and she tried to explain why it wasn’t valid. In the end, his chief confirmed that the warrant had already expired.
Bonar claimed she was resisting arrest during the course of the encounter. The video shows the woman standing still, just before the cop delivers a disturbingly sharp punch to her mouth with his right hand.
Saved by the Cellphone Video
If not for the video captured by a civilian on the scene, it would be the woman’s word against his. On the video, Marissa Morris is seen being held by her boyfriend as the cop stands in front of her before striking.
Just after he delivers the quick punch to her face, the boyfriend can be heard saying:
“Hey, you can’t hit a girl like that!”
Was it Excessive Force?
Police brutality is an extremely divisive issue. One half of the people tend to side with the police regardless of what happens, while the other half villainize cops at every opportunity.
In this particular case, the fact that the woman was simply standing there, offering very little physical resistance, makes this a potential case of excessive force.
Punching someone in the face can do lasting damage to the teeth, jaw, and other vulnerable areas. Conversely, using pepper spray, joint locks, or even a Taser, are all ways that police can subdue a suspect without causing extensive harm.
Investigation in Progress
Since viewing the cellphone video, the Flagstaff Police Department has made a statement, saying it is:
“Very disturbed by what is depicted.”
According to Flagstaff Police Chief, Kevin Treadway, the warrant Bonar was trying to bring Morris in on had already been served and was no longer valid. As a result of the cellphone video, Bonar was put on leave, and an internal investigation is taking place.
Featured Image: Screenshot Via YouTube Video.