WATCH: Sacramento Officer Who Punched Alleged Jaywalker Returns to Duty

An officer who punched an alleged jaywalker more than a dozen times in Del Paso Heights in April will return to duty in coming weeks with no public details on the outcome of an internal affairs investigation.

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.

Hahn said state law prohibited him from offering details of the internal affairs investigation, including whether Figueroa was disciplined, but that “the end result of this contact (between Figueroa and Cain) is not what we want to see.”

It is illegal under California law for a law enforcement department to release any personnel information on officers, including disciplinary records.

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.

In a letter dated July 31 and released to The Bee Monday, the district attorney concluded “that it is not reasonably likely a jury would convict either Officer Figueroa or Nandi Cain of a criminal offense related to this incident.”

The DA’s letter also said its review found that Cain did not comply with commands, and supported Figueroa’s escalation to physical force, though a pedestrian group questioned the legality of the stop in the days after it happened.

“We recognize police officers do not have the luxury of walking away from a subject who refused an order during an investigation. However, regardless of the lawfulness of the initial attempt to detain, the facts of this case highlight the existing tension between some community members and law enforcement,” the unsigned DA’s memo said.

Prior to the announcement, Hahn addressed that tension by meeting Monday with community activists at the Greater Sacramento Urban League in Del Paso Heights to discuss ways to “re-integrate” the officer into the community. The announcement that Figueroa could be patrolling in Del Paso Heights was met with equanimity by community leaders who support the chief personally, said Jay King, one of those in attendance.

“I think what the chief did, or what he’s doing, is proper, smart and I think it’s the best way for our community to heal and garner trust and a partnership-type attitude between the police and the community,” said King.

Del Paso Heights resident Mervin Brookins, well known for running youth sports leagues in the area, was also at the meeting. He said Hahn did not offer details about the officer’s discipline, but focused on ways the department intended to increase community policing efforts, and efforts to help officers know the areas they patrol better – including having cadets volunteer in neighborhoods they might patrol.

Brookins said the community strongly supports the chief, and expressed a willingness to back Figueroa returning to Del Paso Heights based on their personal trust in Hahn.

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