Del Paso Heights, CA — Dashcam video of an incident the Free Thought Project reported last year showed just how far police are willing to go to extort people for jaywalking — or alleged jaywalking. It also shows how some cops react when their manhood is brought into question by those they are trying to extort. And, as TFTP predicted, the taxpayers of Sacramento were held liable, not the cop who attacked Nandi Cain Jr.
According to the Sacramento Bee, Cain's Attorney, John Burris confirmed that his client has agreed to settle his federal civil rights claim for a series of changes in police procedures and a $550,000 payment under a deal approved by the Sacramento City Council earlier this month.
Burris said Cain was "quite pleased that we did something more than just get money for him. He likes the idea that the case itself, as he would say, was bigger than him and something more came out of it."
The good news is that Burris said that as part of the lawsuit, the department has agreed to implement some changes.
As the Bee reports, the changes include a random audit process for body-worn camera footage to ensure officers' actions match their police reports, and to confirm officers are using implicit bias and procedural justice training in the field, said Burris.
"Basically it's trying to monitor a police officer's conduct after you train them," said Burris. "It's also about talking to people in a consistent way, both African Americans and whites, because we have seen in other areas that black officers and white officers talk to black people differently than they talk to whites."
As we reported previously, Nandi Cain Jr. was crossing the street when a Sacramento police officer approached him. As seen in the video, the pair exchanged some words just before the officer charged Cain and began choking and beating him. He was then arrested.
However, after he was arrested, according to the now-settled federal lawsuit, the 24-year-old was also placed on psychiatric hold and taken to an isolation cell of a county jail, where the officer and other employees beat him repeatedly, stripped his clothes off and made obscene comments. Cain was then left in the cell, where he spent hours without food, medical attention or a chance to make a phone call, the lawsuit says.
According to Burris, the officer arrested Cain for being black.
“He shouldn't have been in psychiatric watch,” Burris told The Washington Post. “He shouldn't have been in the jail in the first place.”
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During the original stop, the entire time, Cain had done nothing wrong. It is not illegal to walk away from an officer unless you are accused of a crime. When the officer said he was accusing Cain of jaywalking, Cain stopped. However, this cop couldn't contain his rage and snapped.
“You were jaywalking,” Officer Anthony Figueroa told Cain.
“I looked both ways,” Cain replied. “You're harassing me. I just got off work. You're trying to pull me over for nothing.”
In the video, we can hear Cain talking to the officer as he removed his jacket. As the video shows, however, Cain was just showing the officer he was unarmed, while questioning the validity of the stop — and questioning his manhood by saying, "if you were a real man, you'd put down that gun and fight me."
That's when Figueroa launched his assault.
“The actions of the involved Sacramento police officer are disturbing and does not appear to be reasonable based upon the circumstances,” the agency said at the time.
After repeatedly bludgeoning the man in the face for doing nothing other than questioning his manhood, this officer arrested Cain and brought him downtown. Absent from the arrest report, however, was the charge of jaywalking. This officer only charged Cain with suspicion of resisting arrest.
“This is one of the most outrageous unprovoked assaults since Rodney King,” Burris declared at the time. “This is particularly infuriating because Sacramento has a history of disproportionately stopping African Americans for jaywalking, and every encounter is a potential disaster for African American men. This is a prime example of what happens with race-based policing.”
Hopefully the reforms implemented through the lawsuit serve to put this practice to an end.
As for Figueroa, he wasn't punished at all. Instead he was reassigned to a different part of town as to prevent Cain from questioning his manhood again, thus facilitating another brutal attack.