Investigators in Seattle are reviewing the incident, which was captured on video.
Things began when an unnamed police officer spotted a teen jaywalking across Martin Lurther King Jr. Way South around 3:10 p.m., according to a report on the Seattle Police Department Web site.
When he approached the 18-year-old male, the officer witnessed four women do the same thing at the same spot on the road, about 15 feet from a pedestrian crosswalk.
“The officer instructed the females to step over to his vehicle,” officials said. “They were verbally antagonistic.”
When one of the women, a 19-year-old, began to walk away, the officer approached her and escorted her back.
“The female subject began to tense up her arm and pull away from the officer while yelling at him,” police said.
The two argued, and the officer attempted to cuff her. That is when, according to officials, another of the women interceded.
“The second female subject placed her hands on the officer’s arm, causing the officer to believe she was attempting to physically affect the first subject’s escape,” police said.
A crowd had gathered around the officer at the time, and another witness captured much of the altercation on video.
As the officer and the 17-year-old struggled with one another, the woman can be seen pushing the officer, who then responds by punching her in the face.
The crowd reacted with shock, and a voice is heard saying, “Are you serious?!”
Someone pulled the 17-year-old away, and the police officer proceeds to try and handcuff the 19-year-old.
“Do not struggle,” the cop orders the woman during the video.
Back-up eventually arrived, police said, at which time the woman who was punched was handcuffed. She was later examined by medical personnel.
“You obviously have to take into context everything that occurred from the point that the officer did make contact with the individuals until the situation ended,” said Deputy Chief Nick Metz to King 5 News.
Metz noted there was some “concerns about the tactics the officer used.”