SACRAMENTO (AP) – A Sacramento man hurled to the ground and punched repeatedly in the face by a police officer has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city and county of Sacramento that alleges he was also abused in jail after his arrest, the man’s lawyer said in a statement Monday.
The lawsuit asking for unspecified monetary damages also targets the officer and identified him as Anthony Figueroa, said the lawyer, John Burris.
Police who had criticized the officer’s action during the widely publicized event captured on video had not identified him, saying only that he was a two-year member of the force placed on unpaid administrative leave.
Police on Monday did not immediately respond to phone and email messages seeking comment.
Figueroa also did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment about the lawsuit or the April 10 incident, which officials have said happened when Nandi Cain was told by the officer to stop because he had jaywalked on a residential street in California’s state capital.
Cain, 24, refused and challenged the officer to a fight, officials have said.
Video taken by a police cruiser dash camera and bystanders captured Cain complaining the officer was stopping him “for nothing” and telling the officer, “if you were a real man you would take your gun away and fight me like a real man.”
The officer then lunged at Cain and tackled him, punching him repeatedly, according to the video released by the police department. Video of the confrontation filmed by a bystander went viral and generated outrage across the U.S.
Cain was handcuffed for suspicion of resisting arrest and an outstanding misdemeanor arrest warrant, authorities have said. Police said he continued resisting by kicking the interior of a patrol car and was restrained with a leg hobble.
After being brought to a jail, Cain was repeatedly kneed in the ribs by corrections officers who also used their knees to pin him down while stripping off his clothes, said the federal lawsuit filed Sunday in Sacramento.
The police department and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg have previously called the officer’s behavior disturbing and unreasonable.
Cain cried out in pain while he was naked on the floor of the jail and was mocked by the corrections officers, the lawsuit said.
It claimed he was left alone in a cell without medical attention, food or the ability to make a phone call.
He was released nine hours and no charges were filed against him.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.