Newly released Sacramento Police Department video shows a swerving police car striking a 16-year-old boy on the sidewalk, launching him onto the hood of the car and knocking him back several feet in a July 22 incident that prompted community outcry.
The boy was being chased by police officers who stopped him for not having a forward-facing white light on his bike, the police department said in video that was released Friday afternoon.
In bodycam footage from the officer driving the car, the SUV can be heard accelerating and then screeching as it brakes, veers left toward the boy across a lane, hits him on the sidewalk and comes to a stop in the front yard of a home.
The reported speed of the SUV from the in-car camera was 27 mph when it hit the boy, said Detective James Allen of the major collisions investigation unit in a department video. The actual speed is still under investigation, he said.
From the video, it is unclear whether the officer hit the boy intentionally. He appears to say an expletive as his car hits the teen.
“That was an unintended collision,” said Sgt. Vance Chandler, spokesman for the Sacramento Police Department. “That officer was driving at a speed too fast to make that turn.”
Chandler said officers are authorized to use their vehicles to stop a suspect only in “extreme circumstances.”
“We don’t train our officers to collide with the suspect,” he said. “We do train our officers to respond to assist a foot pursuit and respond in a vehicle, and assist in detaining a suspect fleeing from officer in a safe manner.”
Chandler also said that the driver in this instance underwent training at the department’s Emergency Vehicle Operation Center before returning to patrol duty.
A different camera inside the car shows the boy trying to jump out of the way at the last minute, but he’s still hit by the left side of the car as it collides with him. His body appears to bounce off the windshield as his legs are thrown into the air.
The officer quickly gets out of his car and rolls him onto his back, handcuffing him as the boy yells “I’m sorry, I’m sorry!”
The officer asks, “Where’s your injury? What hurts?” The boy continues to scream and cry as the officer holds his arm.
In seconds, a crowd of screaming people gathers, including a man who appears to be the owner of the house and the boy’s aunt, Rosemarie Gevara, who yells “you guys f---ing ran over my nephew!”
Gevara said the family viewed the video at the police station on Freeport Boulevard Friday morning.
Members of Black Lives Matter also gathered at the police station while the family viewed the video, according to a release.
Minutes later, as the officers form a “skirmish line” blocking bystanders from reaching the boy, who is lying on the ground, one policeman asks the officer who chased the boy on foot how serious the boy’s injuries are.
“He’s bad,” the man replies. “He’s bad.”
At one point, the boy tells police,“I f---ing flew man, I f---ing flew.” He also asks officers, “Will I end up in a wheelchair?”
The boy repeatedly asks for his cousin and his family. An officer does not allow his family to come to him.
A woman is seen offering the boy water, but an officer says he can’t have water until the ambulance comes.
At another point in the video the boy asks who was driving the car. “What the f---?” he says.
Police said he was later transported to the hospital for complaints of pain. His injuries were not life-threatening.
“Clearly, this collision could have been tragic. I am grateful the young man was not more seriously injured and that no one else was injured,” Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn said in a statement Friday. “Our training is designed to prevent this sort of thing from happening. We are going to make sure our training – and the officer’s adherence to that training – is as solid as it can be.”
The incident began when the boy was pulled over on his bike by an officer in another patrol car. After a brief conversation, the officer sitting on the passenger side asked the boy if he’s ever been arrested before, footage shows. Another officer asked if he has a warrant out.
The boy then appeared to try to pedal away. The policeman got out of the car and appeared to grab the boy and pull him off the bike, apparently sending the officer, boy and bike crashing to the ground. The officer got up and sprinted toward the boy, who was running away.
“Unit coming eastbound, he’s coming right to you,” the officer radios to another police officer.