Bodycam shows Sacramento police detaining boy who spit on officer

By Jonathan Ayestas


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) — Sacramento police released video of a boy being handcuffed and then having a spit mask placed on his head during a tense confrontation with officers last month.

Police released the video after cellphone footage from a witness was posted by Black Lives Matter. That video has been viewed more than 270,000 times on Facebook.

The Sacramento Police Department said the boy was running from a security guard around 7:50 p.m. on April 28 by a Wienerschnitzel near Del Paso Boulevard and El Camino Avenue when the two officers stopped to help detain the boy.

Footage from the three separate bodycams were released Wednesday by the police department.

Video shows the boy being handcuffed and carried toward an officer's vehicle. He's seen spitting on an officer, saying, "Yeah, I spit on you."

Bystanders started asking police why the boy was being detained. When officers tried to get the boy in the back of the patrol SUV, he resumed struggling -- the sound of spitting is heard again -- until he was pinned to the ground.

The boy is heard repeatedly telling officers they had no rights to put him in handcuffs and said he spit on an officer's face. The officer requested a spit mask, saying she was spat on about three times.

The boy later asked to have the mask taken off, saying he couldn't breathe.

The video then shows a growing number of people around the scene. A woman is seen trying to calm the boy down and told him not to spit again.

Officers got him into a patrol SUV. While sitting in the SUV, the boy told an officer that he would kick her if the mask wasn't taken off.

Police said the boy was later released to his mother who showed up at the scene. The boy was cited for battery against a police officer and resisting officers.

"Our officers involved in this incident appropriately used a spit mask to protect themselves and defuse the situation. I am grateful that our officers were willing to proactively intervene when they observed suspicious activity, and that nobody was injured during this encounter," Chief Daniel Hahn said in a statement.

"He was no longer a threat in any way. He was constrained with his arms behind his back in handcuffs and there was no spitting going on what so ever so clearly to me it was an effort to intimidate him, to punish him, to humiliate him," said Mark T. Harris, an attorney for the boy's mother.

VIEW: Bodycam 1 of boy being detained

VIEW: Bodycam 2 of boy being detained

VIEW: Bodycam 3 of boy being detained