Sacramento Police Beats Man For Jaywalking In Inexcusable Video
Nandi Cain Jr. thought he was going to die.
I thought I was going to be like the next Trayvon Martin. I felt like they were going to draw a gun out and shoot me in my back or try to break my arms off or something.
It's clear why Cain feared the worst.
In broad daylight, on a quiet street, a Sacramento police officer applied a chokehold at a moment when Cain was doing nothing but standing still and keeping his arms to his side.
The officer then slammed Cain to the ground, before throwing a series of punches at the man. Eventually, the cop stopped punching and instead twisted Cain's arm to place handcuffs on him.
The incident was captured on tape by Naomi Montaie, a bystander who just happened to have been recording the indecent before the officer had taken physical action.
What police said:
The Sacramento Police Department didn't officer much of a defense for the officer.
In a statement reported by NBC News, the department said the officer attempted the arrest because Cain had been "allegedly unlawfully crossing the street."
The statement then went on to say the officer slammed and punched the man for an "unknown reason." The police released Cain without any charges, while the department said,
The videos of this incident portray actions and behavior that we would consider unacceptable conduct by a Sacramento Police Officer.
In a separate statement, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said that he found the actions of the officer "extremely disturbing."
The officer has been placed on paid administrative leave, and is being investigated by the Internal Affairs Division.
What Cain said:
In his interview with KCRA-TV, Cain gave more context for the story. The 24-year-old said,
I was walking on my way home from work, and police pulls up behind me and asks if he can talk with me. And so, I ask him a number of times if he had any reason or probable cause for pulling me over and he wouldn't really give me a straight answer the first two or three times.
Cain also spoke to CBS Sacramento, telling network that the officer has asked him to drop a weapon. That's when Cain removed his jacket, he says.
Still, the man ended up beaten and taken into custody.
The questions we should ask:
In comparison to the other notable video that made headlines this week, it's clear why footage from that United Airline flight drew lots of attention.
The novelty of it was just so shocking. A police officer coming onto a plane is not a normal sight, never mind that officer dragging a man down an aisle.
We've never seen that before, not on video. But that's exactly why this video from Sacramento warrants even more concern and question.
We know that the United video was a rare occasion. Plus, it's a safe bet that such a thing will never happen again on one of their planes.
We have no reason to be that optimistic with the video in Sacramento, though. On the contrary, we have all the reasons in the world to be skeptical. We have reason to ask why a person walking home from work, with no weapon on him, ends up being punched in the face.
We have reason to ask what defense the police would offer had the incident not been captured on tape. Most importantly, there's reason to ask why police feel so emboldened to brutalize the civilians they're dealing with, crime or no crime.
Regardless of which questions you choose to ask, be sure there are many of them. Those questions are just as deserving of your attention as any other video.