FLAGSTAFF, Arizona – Cell phone video captured the punch that has landed Flagstaff Police Officer Jeff Bonar under investigation.
Bonar is now on administrative leave after he and another law enforcement official were attempting to arrest Marissa Morris Wednesday afternoon.
Morris’ boyfriend, Jimmy Sedillo, said the officers arrived to oversee the couple’s eviction and, as they were moving their belongings across the street, Bonar informed Morris that she had a warrant for her arrest.
Morris insisted her warrant had been resolved, and she insisted Bonar prove the warrant was still active.
As both officers are seen holding her arms trying to handcuff Morris, she continues to argue and Bonar rears back, punching Morris on the cheek area with enough force to make her head bounce back.
Sedillo and his mother immediately began yelling at the officer “You can’t hit a girl like that!”
Morris is seen wincing in pain and cries out “I didn’t do anything!”
“She weighs maybe 110 pounds, maybe. The officer was maybe 220,” Sedillo told 3TV News. “He went around the whole thing all wrong.”
Flagstaff Police Sgt. Corey Runge released a statement, which reads, in part “Our agency is very concerned by what is depicted in this video. We are immediately initiating an internal investigation into this incident.”
Once she was punched, Morris continued to refuse to cooperate with law enforcement, still demanding to see a warrant.
She was eventually arrested and charged with aggravated assault on law enforcement and resisting arrest.
She remains in jail awaiting to see a judge at this time.
NewsChannel 4 asked Flagstaff police officials whether Bonar has faced disciplinary action in the past and whether Morris had an active warrant at the time of her arrest:
“The Flagstaff Police Department has created a web page at http://fpdtransparency.com. The site is now up and able to be accessed. This site contains Officer Bonar’s report, body camera footage, pertinent policies, and media releases. It is noted that Office Bonar initially activated his camera when he arrived. He deactivates his camera once he is told by the deputies that his assistance is no longer needed and he is in the process of getting into his car. He then notices Ms. Morris and makes contact with her. He does not immediately activate his camera upon initial contact as the contact quickly escalated. Officer Bonar does activate his camera once Ms. Morris is placed in handcuffs. Officer Bonar’s failure to activate the camera prior to the incident will also be addressed during the internal affairs investigation into his actions on November 16, 2016.”
Though the law varies by location, American Civil Liberties Union officials tell NewsChannel 4, if a police officer in Oklahoma verifies a warrant exists, they do not need to show it to the arrestee.
However, if the arrestee has requested to see the warrant, they may see it once arriving to jail or within a reasonable amount of time.
Sedillo’s family members posted the video to Facebook, and it has since gained national attention.
Here is the raw, unedited video of the entire incident – WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE.
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