A Twitter video depicting a black female being lifted off her feet by a D.C. police officer is the subject of an internal police investigation, authorities said Monday.
“We’ve been made aware of the video and contacted their commanding officer,” said Rachel Schaerr, a department spokeswoman. She added that D.C. police will “continue investigating this matter.”
The video was first published shortly before 4 p.m. by a Twitter user late Monday afternoon. In four hours, the video had been retweeted more than 3,095 times. It was not immediately clear whether the person who posted the video also shot it.
Other details were also absent, including the name and age of the female and the name of the two officers involved.
In the 45-second video, the female’s shoulders are held against a police cruiser by an officer while her sneakers dangle above the ground. She carries a bag and a green notebook as the officer holding her says, “Yes you did. I saw it.”
The incident happened at 7 and T streets NW, near Howard University and across from the Howard Theater, said the Twitter user who published out the tweet.
At one point, the officer puts her down and the two, along with the second officer, begin talking to each other.
The publication of the video comes at a fraught time between the police and critics of excessive, often lethal, police force, who argue that African Americans are too often the targets of mistreatment at the hands of officers.
Tod Burke, a criminal justice professor at Radford University and a former Maryland police officer, said “There’s a lot of things we just don’t know by looking at this.” He said it was not clear what they were talking about.
“It’s just very difficult to tell,” he added.
Schaerr said authorities are trying to get in touch with the female, and could not confirm her age.
She added of the officers: “If they did anything wrong, they will be held accountable.”