The Seattle Police Department said in a statement Thursday that the actions of the officer — who has not been identified — are being investigated independently by the King County Sheriff’s Office at the department’s request.
Earlier on Thursday, the city’s police watchdog group said it was requesting a criminal investigation.
Video of the incident taken Wednesday night and posted on Twitter shows a protester laying in the street as an officer, who is on foot, rolls his bicycle over the protester’s head and neck area.
The scene is immediately surrounded by nearby officers.
Mass protests occurred Wednesday night in cities across the US from Louisville to Los Angeles, Atlanta and New York, as swaths of people congregate to protest and grieve the decision. A number of protesters have been arrested as a result, and demonstrations are expected to continue on Thursday.
From a review of the video, the Seattle Police Department’s Force Investigation Team (FIT) said it had “identified potential violations of SPD policy, as well as potential criminal conduct,” the statement from the Office of Professional Accountability (OPA), the watchdog group, said.
Subsequently, the case was referred to the OPA.
“After further analyzing the video and observing the interviews conducted by FIT, OPA requested that a criminal investigation be conducted,” the statement said.
A CNN email to the Seattle Police Officers Guild seeking comment wasn’t immediately returned.
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