Seattle Cop Allegedly Punched Handcuffed Man

Seattle police have launched an internal investigation after an officer was accused of punching a handcuffed man.


SEATTLE --

The Seattle Times reported the incident happened last Thursday on Rainier Avenue South.

Freelance radio reporter Vanessa Romo said she witnessed officers arrest a man who had wandered into traffic and refused orders to stop.

She said after the man was handcuffed and on the ground, one of the officers punched him at least twice in the face.

KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter David Quinlan talked to Romo on Wednesday and she provided the following statement:

"On the subject of the incident I witnessed Thursday night, Jan. 13 at Rainier Avenue and South Bayview, I find it troubling that the police report omits the fact that Officer D'Ambrosio punched the suspect in the head after he was on the ground in handcuffs. While I do not necessarily dispute the basic timeline of events detailed in the police report, the description therein paints a picture of a much more dangerous and fluid situation than I witnessed. In other words, this was a simple case of jaywalking that ended with a man bloodied on the ground. And from my direct view of the events, it did not appear it needed to happen that way."Furthermore, the behavior of Sergeant Russness showed an open hostility to the involvement of citizen witnesses in the policing process. Because of mine and my boyfriend's involvement in the media, this incident has come to public attention but it seems many more do not."

The incident was also talked about on KIRO FM radio on Monday on the Ross and Burbank show, which is hosted by Dave Ross and Romo's boyfriend, Luke Burbank.

A police spokesman confirmed that punches were thrown, but said it will take an investigation to determine if the use of force was within policy and the law.

Copyright 2011 by KIROTV.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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