SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Newly released video from the Sacramento Police Department shows an officer throwing a man to the ground during a jaywalking arrest.
It sparked controversy after a video surfaced on social media Monday.
“Stop right now, or I’m going to take you to the ground,” the officer said in the video to a man walking across Grand and Cypress in Del Paso Heights.
But the man didn’t stop and kept walking.
“You a big man because you got a gun? I got nothin,” the man told the officer.
Shortly after the verbal confrontation, the officer and the man disappear in front of the vehicle until it moves away and the officer is seen punching the man repeatedly.
“That man coulda killed that man,” Naomi Montaie told CBS13, she also captured video and posted to social media.
The video has now been seen all around the country of 24-year-old Nandi Cain Jr. being thrown to the ground.
“I thought I was going to be the next Trayvon Martin,” Cain said.
He was said he was only walking home from work and did nothing wrong.
“I thought as soon as they got me on the ground and start you know putting my arms in different positions I felt like they were going to draw a gun out and shoot me in my back,” Cain said.
But police said Cain became combative.
“Actually turned to officer removed his jacket and appeared to challenge the officer to fight,” said a spokesperson with Sac PD.
The altercation continued into the patrol car where Cain is seen in the backseat kicking and for a moment was even restrained.
The officer has since been put on administrative leave, but now the big question many are asking, was it excessive force?
“If it appeared to this officer that he was about to be attacked, then he has the right to defend himself,” said Professor John Meyers with McGeorge School of Law.
However, he said, if the officer was using excessive force, it could be trouble for him and potentially the city.
“You can only sue the city if the city itself is responsible in some way. The normal way a lawyer does that is to argue that the city has a pattern or practice of tolerating police brutality. If you can prove that, then you can recover against the city,” he said.
The department released a statement that read the actions of the officer were disturbing and do not appear to be reasonable based on the circumstances. There is an ongoing investigation into the actions of the officer.
As for Cain, he was released of any charges and given a court date for an outstanding warrant from Fresno, according to police.