A viral video purporting to show a Sacramento, Calif. police officer beating up an alleged jaywalker has sparked community outrage and an internal affairs investigation.
Sacramento police officials called the incident, which happened Monday, “unacceptable” and have put the officer on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. Police did not provide the officer’s name.
“For an unknown reason, the officer threw the pedestrian to the ground and began striking him in the face with his hand multiple times,” read a statement released by police.
The five-minute video, shot by a woman who said she lives in the same apartment complex as the suspected jaywalker, was provided to police and posted to Facebook.
In the video, a young black man is seen facing a white police officer on a street. The pedestrian removes his jacket and the police officer takes him down to the ground, and later appears to be punching him repeatedly.
Dashcam video released by the police agency shows the pedestrian walking along a sidewalk as the officer slowly drives up to him, exits his car and approaches on foot. The audio is garbled, but the officer can be heard telling the pedestrian that he’d earlier been observed jaywalking.
Words are exchanged and the pedestrian is backing away from the officer as the officer repeatedly tells him to get down on the ground, then tackles him and begins punching him repeatedly.
The police department statement says an investigation began after officials watched the officer’s in-car camera of the incident.
“The video of this incident portray (sic) actions and behavior that we would consider unacceptable conduct by a Sacramento police officer,” the statement said.
The statement said the incident happened in the late afternoon on Monday, when the officer spotted a pedestrian “crossing the street unlawfully.”
The officer left his patrol vehicle and gave multiple commands for the pedestrian to stop but the pedestrian ignored the officer, police said in the statement.
The two exchanged words and the pedestrian removed his jacket, “challenging the officer to fight,” the statement read.
The police department could not immediately be reached for word on whether the pedestrian was arrested or released.