A video taken from a police dashboard camera on Monday shows a white police officer approaching a black man, whom he accuses of jaywalking earlier in Sacramento, Calif. What the officer does next is "unacceptable" and has sparked a criminal investigation, according to the Sacramento Police Department. "For an unknown reason, the officer threw the pedestrian to the ground and began striking him in the face with his hand multiple times," police say, per the Sacramento Bee. In a statement, police add the pedestrian, who was on the sidewalk when the officer approached him, refused the officer's requests to stop, then removed his jacket, "challenging the officer to a fight," per USA Today. But Nandi Cain Jr. tells KCRA a different story, arguing he took off his jacket only to show the officer he was unarmed.
"I thought I was going to be like the next Trayvon Martin," says Cain, who says the officer had his hand on his gun as he approached. "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." He adds he repeatedly asked the officer "if he had any reason or probable cause for pulling me over and he wouldn't really give me a straight answer." No matter the reason for the officer's actions, the department says they "are disturbing and [do] not appear to be reasonable based upon the circumstances." The officer, a two-year veteran with the department, has been placed on administrative leave since the incident, which a witness also recorded. Cain, initially jailed on suspicion of resisting arrest, was released Tuesday due to "insufficient grounds to file a complaint," police say.