On April 10, Nandi Cain, 24, was beaten by Sacramento, Calif., Police Officer Anthony Figueroa for suspected jaywalking. Cain, who was unarmed, suffered bruises and a concussion. And now he has filed a lawsuit against the city.
On Monday, Oakland, Calif.-based civil rights attorney John Burris held a press conference on behalf of his client and stated that they wanted justice to be served. He also spoke about the federal civil rights lawsuit against the city and county of Sacramento, a lawsuit that alleges use of excessive force and municipal liability for an alleged pattern of racial profiling.
On the day of the incident, Cain was walking home and an officer stopped him for jaywalking. Witnesses say that Cain didn’t jaywalk, and the incident was caught on video. When Cain disputed the officer, Figueroa threw him to the ground and punched him at least 18 times in the head.
The beating didn’t stop there. Once Cain was placed in custody in jail, he suffered more abuse, according to the lawsuit.
“Cain was placed on a psychiatric hold at Officer Anthony Figueroa’s insistence, forcefully stripped naked, and forced to the ground, while multiple officers, including Officer Figueroa, continued to abuse and degrade Mr. Cain,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit goes on to indicate that an officer threw Cain onto the “concrete floor before jumping down onto him using his knees.” Sheriff’s deputies then “used their boots/knees to smash Mr. Cain’s hands and ankles into the concrete floor.” The suit also states that Cain was verbally abused and called a “bitch” and told that he smelled like tuna.
Cain was released the next day after authorities realized that they had “insufficient grounds” to charge him.
After his release, the police condemned the actions of the cops.
“The actions of the involved Sacramento police officer are disturbing and [do] not appear to be reasonable based upon the circumstances,” the department said April 11. “The Sacramento Police Department holds itself to the highest professional standard, and the actions that were observed are not indicative of the dedicated women and men who work for the department.”
In an interview with CBS Sacramento, Cain said that he felt as if he was going to be the next Trayvon Martin.
“I thought as soon as they got me on the ground and start, you know, putting my arms in different positions, I felt like they were going to draw a gun out and shoot me in my back,” Cain said.
Officer Figueroa has been on leave since the incident.
Read more at the Miami Herald.