Seattle police say an officer has been placed on leave and a use of force investigation is underway after video surfaced on social media allegedly showing a bicycle officer riding over the head of a fallen demonstrator during protests Wednesday night.
In a statement, the department said it was aware of a video circulating that “apparently shows an SPD bike officer’s bike rolling over the head of an individual laying in the street.”
Protests broke out across the nation Wednesday after a Kentucky grand jury considering the March killing of Breonna Taylor in her home voted not to indict any of the three officers involved with charges directly related to her death. One of the three officers was indicted on a charge related to endangering Taylor’s neighbors.
Police arrested 13 people in Seattle as authorities said people smashed windows and spray painted buildings as protesters marched through parts of the city. Police said multiple officers were injured and one was struck in the head with a baseball bat, cracking his helmet.
Seattle has been one of many cities to experience weeks of widespread demonstrations this summer in the wake of the killing of George Floyd and the related resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement.
In a news release detailing the officer’s suspension, the police department painted a chaotic picture of the protests Wednesday.
“Individuals were responsible for attacking a business in the area, launching an incendiary device into the East Precinct nearly hitting officers, throwing rocks and bottles at officers, setting multiple fires, and violently striking an SPD officer in the head with a metal baseball bat,” SPD officers wrote, indicating that the department had made a dozen arrests.
In the video, officers can be seen clearing a street in the city’s vibrant Capitol Hill neighborhood. Warning, some may find the video disturbing:
Seattle police have not identified the officer involved and the Seattle Times reports that individual will be on paid leave during an investigation by an outside agency, the King County Sheriff’s Office.
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