Arizona police officer Jeff Bonar is on administrative leave after a disturbing video surfaced showing him punching a woman in the face as he tried to arrest her. The officer believed she had outstanding warrants, but that wasn’t the case.
“You cannot arrest me, until I know that I have a warrant,” Marissa Morris could be heard saying on the cellphone video captured Wednesday.
It shows Flagstaff officer Bonar striking Morris outside her boyfriend’s home. Bonar, who has been with the department for almost three years, was assisting another officer with an eviction when he noticed Morris on the property.
“He yelled at me that I had a warrant, and I said, ‘No, I do not’ ... and just brutally attack me, pretty much,” Morris said afterwards.
On the video Morris can be heard saying: “I don’t have a warrant! I don’t have a warrant!”
“Attempts to detain Marissa for the investigation of a warrant that he believed were in place for her at that time,” Flagstaff Police Chief Kevin Treadway said.
Morris did hold two “failure to appear” warrants for DUI and resisting arrest — but they were resolved before Wednesday’s incident.
Bonar was wearing a body camera, but according to his own police report, he turned it off before approaching Morris.
“We owe Marissa, her family, the Flagstaff community, the officer in the department, a full and complete investigation,” Treadway said.
Also in his report, Bonar said Morris appeared to be on a stimulant drug and resisted arrest, kneeing him in his groin and legs several times. In the report, Bonar also acknowledged striking Morris in the head “several times.”
Morris said, “I know what happened because I have to live it every day. I have to feel it. Pretty embarrassing, actually. It makes me feel like nothing.”