It is another incident that is caught on video and is generating protests and complaints. This time, it was not a fatality, but no less shocking as police appear to stop a man for jaywalking, only to tackle him to the ground and punch him in the face after the man was uncooperative.
“The videos of this incident portray actions and behavior that we would consider unacceptable conduct by a Sacramento police officer,” said a department news release. “As a result, the Department’s Internal Affairs Division is investigating the event.”
The officer has been placed on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of the internal investigation.
According to their account of the incident, on Monday, April 10, 2017, at 5:07 p.m., a uniformed Sacramento police officer attempted to stop a pedestrian who was observed crossing the street unlawfully in a Del Paso Heights neighborhood near the intersection of Cypress Street and Grand Avenue.
After the violation, the account continues, the officer exited his patrol vehicle and attempted to contact and detain the man. The officer gave multiple verbal commands for the man to stop but the subject ignored his instructions and proceeded to walk away from the officer.
A verbal exchange occurred in the street between the two and the pedestrian began removing his jacket, challenging the officer to fight. The officer charged at the pedestrian to take him into custody.
The account states, “For an unknown reason, the officer threw the pedestrian to the ground and began striking him in the face with his hand multiple times. Within a few moments, additional officers arrived to assist in handcuffing the suspect.
“As soon as the subject was handcuffed, a supervisor responded to the scene to evaluate the situation. After review of the officer’s In Car Camera System (ICC), the supervisor initiated a personnel investigation into the officer’s actions.”
According to the police, “The officers involved in this incident had vehicles equipped with ICC video which captured portions of the event. Those ICC videos are being reviewed and evaluated for possible release to the public.
“Additionally, a passing witness captured the incident on video which was subsequently distributed via social media. The department asks if there are any other witnesses that captured the incident on video, please contact the Department as this information is important to the investigation. The City’s Office of Police Accountability is working in conjunction with the Police Department to investigate this event.”
The police went even further with a second release.
The police stated, “The actions of the involved Sacramento Police Officer are disturbing and [do] not appear to be reasonable based upon the circumstances. The Sacramento Police Department holds itself to the highest professional standard and the actions that were observed are not indicative of the dedicated women and men who work for the Department.
“We recognize the significance of this incident and the importance of providing timely and factual information to the community. In the Department’s ongoing effort to be more transparent and accountable, related video which captured the event is being released,” they reported.
In a statement from Mayor Darrell Steinberg, he said that the actions of the officer were “extremely disturbing and not representative of the training nor the expectations we have for our Police Department.”