An officer with the Seattle Police Department has been placed on administrative leave after video footage showed him walking the wheels of his bike over a protester lying in the street on Sept. 23, officials said.
Footage captured from Breonna Taylor protests in Seattle on Wednesday shows a line of police, some of whom are walking and some on bikes, advancing toward protesters before one officer dismounts his bike and runs it over the head of a person on the ground. The footage cuts off as police push protesters away from the man on the ground.
The individual laying on the ground is wearing head protection and was not injured during the incident but was arrested and booked at Seattle’s jail, police detective Mark Jamieson told The Washington Post.
“During the demonstration that occurred last night, the Seattle Police Department was notified of an incident where, on video, it appears an SPD officer walked the wheels of his bicycle over an individual lying in the street,” the Seattle Police Department said in a statement on Thursday.
“Immediately after being made aware of this incident, SPD activated the Force Investigation Team (FIT) to document and investigate the use of force—as required by policy—and alerted the Office of Police Accountability (OPA), which also responded to the scene.”
The OPA is independent and investigates cases of potential police misconduct.
“OPA has opened an investigation into the incident. The officer has been placed on administrative leave. Following the request from the OPA, the SPD has referred the incident to the King County Sheriff’s Office for a potential criminal investigation.”
The officer has not yet been identified.
Seattle police said they made more than a dozen arrests Wednesday evening on charges ranging from property destruction, resisting arrest, and failure to disperse as well as assault on an officer.
Multiple officers were injured, including one who was struck in the head with a metal baseball bat, cracking his helmet.
The protests came just hours after a Kentucky grand jury announced it had brought no murder charges against any of the three Louisville police officers involved in the shooting that led to Taylor’s death during a warranted drug search gone wrong on March 13.
One former police officer, Brett Hankison, was indicted for wanton endangerment after he blindly fired 10 shots into Taylor’s apartment when his colleague was shot in the leg by Taylor’s boyfriend. The officers did announce themselves before entering the apartment, but Taylor’s boyfriend later told police that he did not hear who they were and opened fire in self-defense.
Officers also arrested 126 people amid protests in Louisville, where Taylor lived, on Wednesday, authorities said. Two police officers were shot during the mayhem but are expected to survive and the suspect was arrested.