SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A California police officer seen on video hurling a jaywalker to the ground and repeatedly punching him in the face has been put on administrative leave while authorities investigate, officials said Tuesday.
The officer and the jaywalker were not identified, but Sacramento police said in a statement that the officer’s conduct appeared unacceptable and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg criticized the officer.
“I find the actions of this officer extremely disturbing and they are not representative of the training nor the expectations we have for our Police Department,” Steinberg said.
The incident unfolded after the officer from his police cruiser told the man to stop after he was seen jaywalking, but the pedestrian ignored the officer, the police department said.
The officer then got out of the car and tried to detain the man, but he walked away, the police statement said.
The two argued and the man took off his jacket and challenged the officer to fight, police said.
The officer then charged the man to detain him, and police said, “for an unknown reason, the officer threw the pedestrian to the ground and began striking him in the face with his hand multiple times.”
A police supervisor reviewed video of the altercation and decided to investigate the officer, the statement said.
The man was initially arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest and became combative with deputies while he was being booked at Sacramento’s primary jail, said police spokesman Sgt. Bryce Heinlein.
The man was released Tuesday morning because police did not have sufficient grounds to file a complaint against him, Heinlein said.
Video from police cruisers that were at the scene is being reviewed and may be made public, police said.