A Sacramento, Calif. police officer was placed on administrative leave Tuesday after video showed him throwing a jaywalker to the ground and punching him repeatedly in the face.
Police said the unidentified officer attempted to stop the man identified as 24-year-old Nandi Cain Jr., who was seen illegally crossing a street Monday afternoon. The officer then got out of his patrol car and tried to detain Cain, but he walked away.
The two men argued and police say Cain took off his jacked and challenged the officer to a fight. However, Cain told Fox40 that he was taking off his jacket to show that he was unarmed.
Police say the officer charged at Cain to take him into custody, then "the officer threw the pedestrian to the ground and began striking him in the face with his hand multiple times."
Cain told Fox40 he didn't fight back because, "that’s when guns would’ve been pulled out and I would’ve gotten shot. I would’ve been dead."
Sacramento Police Sergeant Bryce Heinlein told Fox40 that the "actions of this officer does not represent the men and women of this police department ... the video speaks for itself and you know obviously we're taking this seriously."
Heinlein said Cain was initially arrested on suspicion of resisting arrest and became combative with deputies while he was being booked at Sacramento's primary jail.
Cain 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.
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said the officer's actions were "extremely disturbing and they are not representative of the training nor the expectations we have for our Police Department."
Authorities said the officer has been on the force for two years, but declined to provide further details.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.