BALTIMORE -- A Prince George's Police officer has been suspended after a social media video went viral of him kissing a female before they went into the backseat of a patrol car, the Prince George's County Police Department confirmed.
The officer, identified as Francesco Marlett, had his police powers suspended during an investigation.
"PGPD Executive Command is aware of a video circulating on social media with one of our officers," the Prince George's County Police said. "As soon as we became aware earlier today, we opened an investigation to determine the circumstances."
According to WJZ's media partner at The Baltimore Banner, Nelson O, who declined to give his last name because he feared retaliation, said he filmed the video of the encounter that was shared on a relative's TikTok account. He was in Oxon Hill's Carson Park with his child and family to play soccer Sunday night when he saw the officer walking around looking "suspicious, but when [he] saw the young girl pull up [he] started recording because something didn't seem right," he said, adding that the female appeared to be in her early 20s.
The two remained in the vehicle for about 40 minutes before exiting the back of the police cruiser and quickly leaving the park in their respective vehicles, Nelson O. told the Banner.
"It was concerning because there's kids around," he said. "It just seemed off because this is the person that you're supposed to call for suspicious activity doing the suspicious activity, you know."
WUSA9, a CBS affiliate in Washington, D.C., said the video has been viewed millions of times. In the video posted on multiple social media platforms, children can be seen running in the park, and according to neighbors there were several families with kids when the incident took place, according to the station.
The Banner reports that Marlett had previously been suspended without pay in December 2015 and indicted by a grand jury in May 2016 on child abuse and assault charges. According to media reports at the time, Marlett spanked his girlfriend's 3-year-old son. The boy hit his head against a wall and lost consciousness. When the boy's mother came into the room, she found Marlett performing CPR on the unconscious toddler.
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