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The Bozeman Police Department is considering convening a review board to assess if officers acted appropriately when pinning a woman to the ground during a Sunday afternoon arrest.

Law enforcement responded to a report of a woman mooning people after leaving a bar on Main Street, according to court documents. An officer identified a woman whose clothing description matched the suspect and turned on his overhead lights, and the woman, later identified as Christine Lonnie, walked past the patrol vehicle and didn’t stop when an officer ordered her to.

“Lonnie resisted arrest physically and slipped out of handcuffs on two occasions. Force ultimately had to be used against Lonnie in order to gain control of her and she was placed into a restraint device for transport,” the court documents say. She was taken to Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital after the arrest.

A video taken by a bystander and sent to the Chronicle and BPD depicted three officers pinning Lonnie. The bystander said they saw an officer punch Lonnie in the face while two others restrained her on the ground but that they were unable to record that part of the altercation because they were driving with children in the vehicle.

In the video, which is 6 minutes and 30 seconds long, a bystander is heard saying, “I saw one of you hit this woman in the face.” The officer in the center says, “Yeah, I did.”

A different officer holds his knee on Lonnie’s head several times during the video.

Lonnie appeared in justice court on Monday morning for two counts of felony indecent exposure to minors.

Information on bail or conditions of release were not available Monday afternoon, but she was not in jail as of Monday evening, according to the Gallatin County Detention Center online roster.

Because the allegations are for a felony charge, future court proceedings will be held in Gallatin County District Court.

Bozeman Police Chief Jim Veltkamp said the officers were holding her down because they were waiting for a sergeant to arrive with a WRAP restraint, a device used by law enforcement to immobilize a person.

“We typically do that when there’s a possibility that the person may try to injure themselves during transport,” Veltkamp said.

The department has three WRAP restraints, which sergeants carry in their patrol vehicles. The restraints include helmets so the person can’t hurt themselves by hitting their head against a window.

Lonnie said in an interview with the Chronicle that she was “traumatized” by the experience. She declined to talk about the circumstances leading to the arrest because she hadn’t spoken to her attorney yet.

Lonnie said she was told by a nurse at the detention center to get an X-ray because she was showing symptoms of a broken rib or broken ribs.

“This isn’t justice, and this shouldn’t be the way somebody who is a citizen in our community should be treated,” she said. “There was no reason to for them to hurt me so badly.”

A review board can’t be formed until the police chief receives the use of force report and is able to convene the board, Veltkamp said.

“In a situation like this, when there’s any question of what happened, the chief will typically require a review board, which is likely what I will do in this situation,” Veltkamp said. “At this point, I have to wait for the use of force report and then convene a review board.”

A use of force report is written every time an officer uses force or threatens to use force, Veltkamp said. If a next step is deemed necessary by the department, the chief will call a review board, which is usually led by a sergeant in the department.

If that board deems the officers’ actions inappropriate, it can start an internal investigation. That’s when an issue becomes a personnel issue and the potential for discipline for specific officers would come, Veltkamp said. In general, that discipline could include actions like remedial training and administrative leave.

As of right now, all officers involved in the altercation are still on their regular shifts.

Veltkamp said review boards are convened “occasionally.”

“Even a review board does not necessarily indicate that there is a problem with what happened, it’s just a good way to take a much more in depth look at it,” he said. “We take these types of incidents very seriously and it is always our goal to ensure that officers are handling themselves in the most appropriate way possible. But to do that, we have to take a look at it from every possible angle.”

Other bystanders with videos or information about the incident are invited to share that information with the department so it can be included in the internal review, Veltkamp said.

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Melissa Loveridge can be reached at or at (406) 582-2651.

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