The Federal Bureau of Investigation has taken an interest in the viral video showing a Guam police officer punching a suspect who was in police custody on Tuesday.
Guam Police Chief Stephen Ignacio announced late Wednesday afternoon that the FBI “reached out” to him after they saw the video.
In response, Ignacio said that he would be submitting a letter formally requesting the FBI to launch a civil rights violation investigation.
To “remain transparent and maintain the integrity of this investigation,” Ignacio said he has also reached out to Guam Attorney General Leevin Camacho.
In a release issued late Wednesday afternoon, Ignacio said the criminal investigation of the incident would be led by the Attorney General and the Guam Police Department would work closely with the AG “in bringing closure to this case.”
Wednesday morning on NewsTalk K57, Chief Ignacio said appropriate action will be taken, if necessary, upon the conclusion of the investigation into the actions of his officers shown in the video.
He said the video was recorded Tuesday morning by an observer who posted it online and it then went viral.
It shows four police officers, one of whom is seen punching a suspect in the stomach as he was being placed into the back seat of a police cruiser. The other two officers did nothing in response.
The Chief told K-57’s Patti Arroyo that the incident is not reflective of the entire police force and he is taking it very seriously.
“We are looking into who the officers are that were involved, what the circumstances are that led up to the incident that was captured on video or shared on social media,” Ignacio said.
He added: “Appropriate action will be taken. I want to assure the public that if people need to be held accountable, they will be held accountable.”
The Chief declined to name the officers involved or the suspect who was punched because the incident is the subject of an ongoing investigation.
As of Wednesday morning, all four officers involved remain on duty and they had not been placed on administrative leave.