The wife of a Maryland police officer caught in a viral video getting into the back of his cruiser with another woman has called the incident “embarrassing and painful.”
An investigation has now been launched into the behaviour of Francesco Marlett by Prince George’s County Police Department after the TikTok video had more than 2.4 million views.
A woman claiming to be the officer’s wife reacted to the video in a Facebook post, which is no longer available on the platform.
“We need the support the love and most of all the respect from the community and our families,” wrote Paula Marlett on Facebook on Wednesday, reported FOX5.
And she added: “Yes I know what’s been going on.”
The officer was suspended after the video showed him apparently kissing a woman before they got into the PGCPD cruiser, which was near a park in the Oxon Hill neighbourhood of Southlawn.
“As soon as we became aware earlier today, we opened an investigation to determine the circumstances,” the department said on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.
“Additional information will be released once investigated and confirmed.”
The force went on to later add that the officer’s “police powers are now suspended as the investigation continues”.
Nelson Ochoa says he began videoing the officer after he saw him pull up in his vehicle on Labor Day.
“As soon as I started recording, a car pulled up and a young lady came out,” Mr Ochoa told NBC Washington.
He says that the pair got into the cruiser and that after around 40 minutes the officer and the woman drove away in different directions.
“We couldn’t believe what we were seeing, and what really made us go, wow, this is crazy, is when the car started rocking a little bit to the left and right. That’s when we were, like, this is crazy. In broad daylight with kids around,” he added.
Officer Marlett has previous suspensions during his law enforcement career, according to FOX 5.
The station reported that in 2016 he was suspended from the force without pay after he was accused of beating his girlfriend’s three-year-old unconscious. Charges were eventually dropped and his record was expunged.