An officer who punched an alleged jaywalker around 18 times in Del Paso Heights, CA in April has returned to active duty, and the public will not get to know the results of the internal affairs investigation (but we all know how police IA investigations tend to end). There is no way to know if the officer is being held accountable for his brutal assault on the innocent man, but the officer is returning to work rather than going to jail.
It is also very likely that he will be responding to calls in the same area where he assaulted the accused jaywalker.
The department announced Monday it had completed its investigation into the April 10 incident in which Officer Anthony Figueroa repeatedly punched Del Paso Heights resident Nandi Cain, and that Figueroa would return to his former duties. Sacramento police chief Daniel Hahn said Figueroa was scheduled to patrol Natomas, but that officers in that district also answer “a lot of calls” in nearby Del Paso Heights, reported The Sacramento Bee.
Hahn said California law prohibited him from giving details of the internal affairs investigation, including whether Figueroa was disciplined.
The internal affairs investigation examined whether Figueroa had broken any policies or training during the encounter, said department spokesman Officer Eddie Macaulay. The department separately asked the Sacramento County district attorney to review the case to determine if either Figueroa or Cain should be prosecuted for criminal wrongdoing.
If he did not violate any policies or training, then the training program and policy book definitely need revised, because he should be in jail instead of patrolling the streets.
The incident occurred on April 10 as Cain was walking home from his job as an electronic parts salesman. Cain crossed the intersection of Cypress Street and Grand Avenue when Figueroa drove his patrol car up behind him.
Figueroa verbally told Cain to stop, but Cain kept walking without looking back at the officer. Cain later said he didn’t know it was a police officer speaking to him at first. Cain continued to walk away from the officer and crossed to the middle of Cypress Street.
The altercation escalated verbally and Cain removed his jacket in what he described as an attempt to show he had no weapons and what the department later described as a preparation to fight.
Figueroa threw Cain on the pavement and punched him about 18 times. The altercation was filmed by a local resident and posted online, so police released dash camera footage and opened an internal investigation.
Figueroa was placed on paid leave shortly after the incident, but has now been placed back on active duty.
Cain sued the department and the County of Sacramento for the incident and alleged mistreatment he said he received in jail, including deputies stripping him naked and verbally abusing him. Cain was ultimately released with no charges, and recently settled the county portion of the suit for $40,000.
The suit against the city of Sacramento and the department remains ongoing.
“Transparency is key to building public trust, but the prohibition of any public disclosure in this decision undermines that transparency and rightfully frustrates our community,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg in a statement. “While I have a real issue with this limitation, I do trust and respect the process, our Police Department and Chief Hahn.“
Watch video of the incident below: