SACRAMENTO (CBSLA.com/AP) — A Sacramento police officer seen on video hurling a jaywalker to the ground and repeatedly punching him in the face Monday evening has been put on administrative leave while authorities investigate, officials said Tuesday.
The officer was not identified, but Sacramento police said in a statement that the officer’s conduct appeared unacceptable and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg criticized the officer.
“I find the actions of this officer extremely disturbing and they are not representative of the training nor the expectations we have for our police department,” Steinberg said.
The jaywalker in question, Nandi Cain Jr., told CBS Sacramento in an interview Tuesday he was walking home from work when the officer confronted him. He was told to drop to his knees, but he refused.
Cain told CBS Sacramento that the officer ordered him to, “‘drop your weapon, take your hands out of your pockets, drop your weapon.'”
“So, as a form of defense, I took off my jacket to let him know I am unarmed,” Cain said.
According to the police statement, the officer got out of the car and tried to detain Cain, but he walked away. The two argued and then Cain took off his jacket and challenged the officer to fight, police said.
The officer then charged Cain to detain him, and police said “for an unknown reason, the officer threw the pedestrian to the ground and began striking him in the face with his hand multiple times.”
A police supervisor reviewed video of the altercation and decided to investigate the officer, the statement said.
“I thought I was going to be the next Trayvon Martin,” Cain said.
Cain was initially arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest and became combative with deputies while he was being booked at Sacramento’s primary jail, said police spokesman Sgt. Bryce Heinlein.
He was released Tuesday morning because police did not have sufficient grounds to file a complaint against him, Heinlein said.
Video from police cruisers that were at the scene is being reviewed and may be made public, police said.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)