The Seattle Police Department is investigating after a video showed one of its cops rolling a bike over the head and neck of a fallen protester at Wednesday night’s Breonna Taylor demonstrations.
Protests erupted in the city in response to officers in Louisville, Kentucky not being charged for fatally shooting the 26-year-old Black woman. The SPD confirmed in a statement that 13 people were arrested at the Seattle demonstrations and complained that multiple officers had been injured, including one who was struck in the head with a baseball bat.
However, the shocking video, which appears to show an SPD officer rolling his bicycle over the head of an already-injured man, has been widely condemned on social media. The anger led the department to comment, “The Seattle Police Department is aware of a video circulating on the internet that apparently shows an SPD bike officer’s bike rolling over the head of an individual laying in the street. This matter will be referred to the Office of Police Accountability for further investigation.”
The clip originated from a Facebook Live broadcast from C.J. Halliburton, who describes himself as an independent journalist; he recorded the unrest in Seattle throughout the night.
The key part of the video shows a line of cops advancing on protesters. One, who is not cycling but pushing his bike by its handlebars, appears to slowly walk toward the man who is flat on the ground. The cop rolls the bicycle over the man’s head, with the back wheel appearing to go over his neck.
The same officer then appears to bash a second protester with his bike. Two other officers then kneel down next to the fallen man before the scene becomes obscured by the line of advancing cops.
A second clip posted on Facebook by Joey Weiser shows the same scene from a different angle, with Weiser shouting, “This person is on the ground—he just ran over his head! He just ran over his head! Oh my God!”
The SPD statement didn’t identify the officer or the fallen man or make any statement about his condition after the incident.