Del Paso Heights community members want the police to "communicate better"

A Sacramento police officer has been put on administrative leave after striking a man in the middle of the street for "unknown reasons". (April 11, 2017)

A Sacramento Police Department officer is under investigation after getting involved in an altercation with a suspect Monday evening. Witnesses told ABC10 that the incident was disturbing and never needed to happen.

In the video you can see the officer body slam a man down in the middle of the road on Cypress Street right across from Evenlyn Hughes and Phillip Leeper’s home.

"I've never seen hands move that fast in my life not even a professional boxer, totally uncalled for,” said Hughes.

These two witnessed the altercation and said they heard the man tell the officer he was just getting off work and wanted to be left alone.

"Yeah, and the cop beat on him real bad, hurt him real bad, he tried to defend himself and they couldn't even do that because he had him slammed down so fast,” said Leeper.

While Leeper was sharing what he saw, a woman named Sonia Smith chimed in. Smith said she has lived on Cypress for 18 years and said police brutality has to change.

"That was too much, all that attention for someone walking in the street is too much,” said Smith.

She said the Sacramento Police Department has to do a better job reaching the community by working with the community, not bullying.

"We got to find a way to better communicate with our community the cops got a find a way to better communicate with us black folks,” Smith added.

The altercation has started a conversation, the one Smith is asking for. Mervin Brookings Jr., a Del Paso Heights community leader, met with other city leaders Tuesday afternoon including the Mayor and Police Chief.

"They recognize it wasn’t right and all the way up the chain that this officer was in the wrong,” said Brookings. “There has been a history of the police not being trusted to do the right thing but in this particular case we have received a response that we like and expect from our police department."

The officer was placed on paid administrative leave and both the Sacramento Police Department and Mayor’s Office issued press releases which stated that the officers’ actions were unacceptable.

“There are good and bad officers and if we weed out the bad ones that are not in the best interest of the community I think we will be ok,” said Brookings.

 

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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