The Prince George’s County Police Department suspended an officer after a video went viral of him closely embracing and kissing a woman before they both hop in the backseat of his marked vehicle.

Police identified Francesco Marlett as the uniformed officer in the video Tuesday afternoon. The department launched an investigation after the video circulated online earlier in the day.

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Police became “aware” of the video Tuesday morning and have since “opened an investigation to determine the circumstances,” the department posted on social media. The investigation remains “active and ongoing,” a PGPD public information officer said.

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Nelson O, who declined to give his last name because he feared retaliation, said he filmed the video of the encounter that was shared on a relative’s TikTok account. He was in Oxon Hill’s Carson Park with his child and family to play soccer Sunday night when he saw the officer walking around looking “suspicious,” he said. Nelson O said he began filming when a young woman, apparently in her 20s, pulled up because, he said, “something didn’t seem right.”

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The two remained in the vehicle for about 40 minutes before exiting the back of the police cruiser and quickly leaving the park in their respective vehicles, said Nelson O.

“It was concerning because there’s kids around,” he said. “It just seemed off because this is the person that you’re supposed to call for suspicious activity doing the suspicious activity, you know.”

Marlett had previously been suspended without pay in December 2015 and indicted by a grand jury in May 2016 on child abuse and assault charges. According to media reports at the time, Marlett spanked his girlfriend’s 3-year-old son. The boy hit his head against a wall and lost consciousness. When the boy’s mother came into the room, she found Marlett performing CPR on the unconscious toddler.

Penelope Blackwell is a Breaking News reporter with The Banner. Previously, she covered local government in Durham, NC, for The News & Observer. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Morgan State University and her master’s in journalism from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

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