SACRAMENTO -- A Sacramento police officer has been placed on administrative leave after throwing a pedestrian to the ground and striking him in the face multiple times in an incident captured on video, CBS San Francisco reports.
In a press release, the department said, “the videos of this incident portray actions and behavior that we would consider unacceptable conduct by a Sacramento Police Officer. As a result, the Department’s Internal Affairs Division is investigating the event.”
The incident happened at 5:07 p.m. Monday in the Del Paso Heights neighborhood of Sacramento.
The video, posted by Naomi Montaie, starts by showing the incident unfolding from inside a vehicle. The officer and the man are seen standing in the middle of a residential street exchanging words. What they are saying is inaudible.
A woman inside the vehicle yells, “Nephew, just listen.” About three seconds later, the officer steps forward, grabs the man and hurls him onto the pavement. The woman yells, “Hey, hey! Why you doing him like that?”
The car then moves forward as video continues to capture the incident, showing the officer on top of the man, punching him repeatedly.
“Hey, hey, why you beatin’ him like that?” the woman yells.
Another officer arrives and handcuffs the man as he’s face down on the pavement.
“Oh my God, why’d you take him down like that?... He just got off work,” the woman says.
In the end, seven officers surround the man, handcuffed in the street. Eventually, they put the man in the back of a police car.
“He was bleeding at the mouth... That one cop, took him down and just started: bam, bam, bam,” says the woman.
Then the video ends.
According to police, the officer attempted to stop the man “who was observed crossing the street unlawfully.... The officer then got out of his patrol car and tried to detain him, but the subject walked away.”
Police say “the pedestrian began removing his jacket, challenging the officer to fight. The officer charged at the pedestrian to take him into custody. 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.”
According to police, the beating victim was held in the Sacramento Main Jail and released Tuesday morning due to “insufficient grounds to file a complaint.”
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg told the Sacramento Bee Tuesday that he found the actions of the officer “extremely disturbing and not representative of the training nor the expectations we have for our police department.”
The name of the officer has not been released, but according to police he is a two-year veteran with the department. He is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the internal investigation.
Meantime, the video posted on Facebook was viewed more than half a million times and shared by more than 14,000 users by Wednesday morning.