Viral Video Shows Brusque, Forceful Arrests in Austin, Texas

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Visitors sit in the back of a tricycle taxi along Sixth Street in Austin, Texas, on November 16, 2012. Adrees Latif/Reuters

A harrowing video that appears to show several bicycle police officers from the Austin Police Department using questionable force to arrest three people who had allegedly jaywalked early on Friday morning was posted online and is now being reviewed by the organization's "chain of command," reports NBC News.

It's unclear what events preceded the violent turn depicted in the video, but the alleged jaywalking arrests were captured by a friend of the two men confronted by the officers, Rolando Romiro, who said he had been out at bars with them near the 600 Block of East Sixth Street.

Nicknamed "Dirty Sixth" by residents, the downtown street is notorious for its concentration of bars and live music venues, as well as its dose of late-night rowdiness. The men arrested had been visiting from San Antonio for this weekend's Fun Fun Fun Fest, according to the Austin-American Statesman.

The two men were apprehended as they allegedly jaywalked while looking to catch an Uber car. Speaking to NBC News, Romiro said they had crossed the street because it had been blocked off, as often happens on the notorious street. "We were walking across the street, the sign said do not walk, but [the] lights were already turning yellow and [the] streets were blocked off so we kept walking," as he told the Statesman.

Soon, officers on bicycles rolled up and confronted the men about jaywalking. "After we crossed the street, the cops asked us to show IDs and my friend said no, and that's when [the officers] jumped off their bikes and I started recording," Romiro told NBC News in an email.

The now-viral video shows two bicycle police officers pushing one of the men, then two others pushing the other man against the same storefront window. The officers then proceed to punch and kick one of the men, placing him in a chokehold. The other man is dragged into the street, where he is wrestled to the ground by several officers. In the video, the man can be heard gasping, "What did I do?" in between punches.

By this point, the video shows numerous other police officers on the scene. According to Slate, another friend standing nearby, a woman, was arrested shortly after questioning the police officers about the arrests.

Records obtained by the Statesman show that one of the three people who were arrested, a man, was charged with resisting arrest, and had a bail set for $2,500 at Travis County Jail.

The Austin Police Department is currently investigating the video, and is working to see if the officers were complying with police policy, according to a statement. It did not confirm that the men had been arrested for jaywalking.

It's unclear how the role of civilian videos, which play a significant part in accountability for criminal justice and brutality cases, will be considered moving forward. As of July 4, 2016, the Austin Police Department is scheduled to outfit its officers with body cameras, according to KXAN.