SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) — A criminal investigation has been launched over the beating a Sacramento police officer gave a man he had stopped for jaywalking that was caught on video.
A firestorm of controversy has erupted around the incident that initially came to wide attention Tuesday after video taken by a bystander went viral.
The incident happened at 5:07 p.m. Monday, in the Del Paso Heights neighborhood, near the intersection of Cypress Street and Grand Avenue.
The police department says the officer originally stopped the man because he was jaywalking before the situation escalated.
WATCH THE CELLPHONE VIDEO:
In the video, posted by Naomi Montaie, the officer and the man are standing in the middle of a residential street exchanging words, but what they are saying is inaudible.
The woman shooting the video from her car yells, “Nephew just listen,” about 3 seconds before the officer steps forward and pushes the man to the ground. The woman then yells, “Hey, hey… why are you beating like that?” and moves forward in her car, continuing to capture cellphone video showing the officer on top of the man, punching him repeatedly.
Another officer arrives, climbs on top of the man and handcuffs him.
“Why’d you take him down like that, sir? He just got off work,” yells the woman from her car as more backup arrives. In the end, there are seven officers surrounding the man who lies, 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 cell phone video ends.
The police department also released dashcam video from the patrol car that showed the officer pummeling the man.
On Tuesday, the Sacramento Police Department released a statement said the officer’s actions “appeared to be outside of policy” and placed him on administrative leave.
The Mayor of Sacramento, who had already been quoted as saying the incident was “disturbing,” addressed the beating again on Wednesday.
“We have a culture problem, and it’s not a problem that is just a Sacramento problem,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “It’s a national problem, and it largely frankly exists between law enforcement and young African Americans and males especially. And I think there’s a lot of work to do.”
In addition to the investigation, the police department also plans to review training procedures.
The name of the officer has not been released.