A video posted to Facebook and obtained by 13 WREX shows a Belvidere Police officer punch a suspect in the face during an arrest.
In the video, the first time you see the police officer and the suspect together is when the officer has the suspect on the ground. There is some yelling in the video and then you see the officer punch the suspect in the face. After that punch you hear the officer tell the suspect to put his hands behind his back. It is unclear if the officer made that same request before punching the suspect.
The arrest happened Thursday outside the Aldi on North State St. in Belvidere. Deputy Chief Shane Woody tells 13 WREX the suspect ran from the officer during a traffic stop. He says the officer tackled the suspect but did not know if he had a weapon. He says the suspect was resisting arrest and refusing to put his hands behind his back. He says the department’s use of force policy allows an officer to punch a suspect if necessary. Woody says the officer reported hitting the suspect multiple times.
Woody had not seen the video until 13 WREX showed it to him.
He says his department is looking into the video and gave us this statement, "This is just one piece of the puzzle. I’ll be looking at all the information I can gather including any witnesses and additional video, the officer’s report and statements. Ultimately once I have as much information as I can get, we’ll make a determination as to whether the use of force was reasonable within policy and state statute."
Both the officer and the suspect were taken to the hospital. The officer has not been cleared medically to return to work.
The suspect was taken to the Boone County Jail. Woody would not release the name of the arresting officer and did not have the suspect’s name. 13 WREX will continue to follow this story and bring you any updates as we get them.
The full video is posted along with this story. WARNING: Some people may find this video disturbing.
*Audio in the video has been edited for explicit language.