By Rodney Grimes
A former Flagstaff police officer, Jeff Bonar was indicted for aggravated assault on a young woman during an arrest for a mistaken warrant. In November 2016, then Flagstaff Police Officer Jeff Bonar struck Marisa Morris in the face during an arrest for allegedly having an outstanding warrant.
It was later shown that Morris was cleared of the warrant days before the incident. An internal investigation was launched by the Flagstaff Police Department.
According to published accounts officer Bonar had faced a disciplinary investigation following the incident, and resigned in January after a disciplinary board recommended his firing for violations of established policy.
Boner was indicted on two counts of aggravated assault on March 1. He made his first court appearance in Coconino County Superior Court on March 6, pleading not guilty to aggravated assault charges.
Phoenix attorney Benjamin Taylor is representing Morris. Taylor stated, “We all respect what police officers do routinely, and the majority of police officers do outstanding work protecting citizens. But when an officer clearly abuses his authority and goes overboard and violates the rights of citizen by excessive force, they need to be held accountable.
“A large part of my practice represents the rights of victims, and Ms. Morris is the clear victim in this case. She is still recovering, but she is thinking about justice. She is still having emotional distress – pain and suffering (from being) punched in the face. She’s embarrassed, she’s hurt, and she’s sad because anyone who gets socked in the face in front of the world (the video went viral) who sees this, will suffer extreme emotional distress”
Taylor has been involved in numerous high profile cases in Arizona including the recent case of representing Tanner Chapel as the victim of a recent arson. Taylor also represents the family of Octavia Rogers accused of killing her three boys in June of 2016. Rogers is charged with three counts of murder after her boys, age two months and eight years of age were stabbed to death in a closet. Taylor said Octavia Rogers’ mother and family do not want her to face the death penalty, and he is representing their interest in this case.