SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — An officer caught on video taking down a suspected jaywalker has been placed on administrative leave.
Sacramento Police confirm the officer stopped someone for illegally crossing at the intersection of Cypress Street and Grand Avenue in North Sacramento.
Naomi Montaie captured the video of Nandi Cain Jr. being thrown to the ground and repeatedly punched by a Sacramento police officer. She and her friend were driving home with several children in the car at the time.
Investigators say Cain was initially stopped for unlawfully crossing the street in Del Paso Heights just after 5 p.m. on Monday.
Naomi and Alexis say they are traumatized by what they saw.
“That man could have killed that man,” she said. “I have that feeling if we had not turned down the street, he would have shot him.”
It’s a feeling echoed by the man at the center of the video.
“I thought I was going to be the next Trayvon Martin,” he said. “I thought as soon as they got me on the ground and start putting my arms in different positions, I felt like they were going to draw a gun out and shoot me in the back.”
Cain says he was walking home from work when the officer confronted him. He was told to drop to his knees, but he refused.
“He told me to drop my weapon and take my hands out of my pockets, and in a series of events, I took off my jacket to show him I’m unarmed,” he said. “That’s when he says he was thrown to the ground and beaten.”
Police have a different perspective on that moment.
“The subject became confrontational and actually turned to the officer, removed his jacket and appeared to challenge the officer to fight,” a spokesman said.
The officer has been placed on administrative leave as the investigation continues.