SEATTLE — The Seattle Police Department faces new questions about the conduct of one of its officers after video released Monday shows an officer punching a woman in the face while trying to arrest her.
An witness started recording when the officer tried to detain two young women for jaywalking at near the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Rainier Avenue South, near a Sound Transit station.
The video showed the officer struggling with the 19-year-old. He tried to get her to put her hands on the car, but she spun around and kept struggling to get away.
Then the woman’s 17-year-old friend got involved, and the officer threw a punch.
After the punch, the 17-year-old is pulled away by witnesses. The 19-year-old was cuffed and arrested on suspicion of obstructing an officer.
The 17-year-old is being investigated for assault of an officer.
In reports Tuesday morning, Seattle Police spokesman Sean Whitcomb said he hadn’t seen the video, but the report made it clear the officer was trying to get a handle on a potentially explosive situation.
Whitcomb said punching is a technique police officers are trained to use to get people under control.