A police officer in Seattle has been placed on leave after a video appeared to show him walking his bicycle over the head of a person lying in the street, the Seattle Police Department announced Thursday. The alleged incident came amid nationwide protests over a grand jury’s decision not to indict three Louisville officers for the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor.
The video, which was shared widely on social media, appeared to show a group of officers walking and riding their bicycles down the street during protests Wednesday night. One officer, who has not been identified, appears to walk both wheels of his bicycle over the head of a person laying on the ground, prompting outrage from nearby protesters.
The Office of Police Accountability opened an investigation, and police said the incident has been referred to the King County Sheriff’s Office for a potential criminal investigation. The Office of Police Accountability said it has received more than 30 complaints about the incident, adding that the department’s Force Investigation Team found “potential violations of SPD policy, as well as potential criminal conduct.”
The department did not specify if the officer would be paid while on leave.
Protesters gathered downtown Wednesday evening with signs that read “Justice for Breonna,” according to CBS affiliate KIRO. Police said more than a dozen people were arrested during the demonstrations. In the statement announcing the investigation, police accused protesters of assaulting officers with bottles and rocks, damaging property, setting fires, and hitting an officer in the head with a metal bat.
The arrests came as largely peaceful demonstrators took to the streets across the country to protest the grand jury decision. A CBS Denver crew saw police detain a man after he approached a group of protesters with a firearm, and San Diego police declared a protest in front of its headquarters an illegal assembly “in response to acts of violence & vandalism.”
Two police officers were shot in Louisville. One person has been taken into custody in connection with the shooting, and both officers are expected to survive. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, who deployed 500 members of the state’s national guard on Wednesday ahead of the protests, said Thursday that he and President Trump agreed that it was not the time to send federal agents to the city.
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