Cancer patient taking photos shoved to the ground by policeman in Utah

Tobin was pushing by a police officer trying to clear out rioters.
Tobin was pushing by a police officer trying to clear out rioters. Photo credit: ABC4

An investigation has been launched after a man with cancer who uses a cane was forcibly pushed over by a Utah police officer trying to clear out protesters.

James Tobin, 67, said he was taking pictures with his camera during the riots on Saturday when he was approached by policemen in protective equipment.

"I thought they were just coming down the street and all of a sudden they came charging at me," he told ABC4.

"He came charging at me with the shield, saying 'get back, get back, get back.'"

KTVX News captured the moment during a live broadcast which sees Tobin pushed multiple times with a riot shield, causing him to fall to the ground.

Tobin, who has leukaemia, was eventually helped back up by two other officers who witnessed the incident.

"I asked them to pick up my glasses, and they helped me up," he told ABC4.

He says he was mildly injured including cuts on his arms, "my shoulder still hurts a little bit" and "my rib on the back is still sore, but the main problem is my knee".

The video of the incident has now been viewed over 240,000 times on Youtube and has hundreds of angry comments.

"Police taking advantage of the situation. Cops like this should not be working for law enforcement!" one person tweeted.

Others said the officer should be fired.

The Salt Lake City Police Department said they have received a lot of feedback on the video and have launched an investigation.

"We have spent hours searching through the footage to identify the officer involved, we know who it is and we have begun an investigation. I have seen the video and it is inappropriate," Chief Mike Brown said on Sunday.

"I have spoken to this gentleman to express my concern for his well being and to apologise to him personally. It was hard for me to watch what happened and I know it was even harder for him to experience it." 

Tobin said Brown had told him about the review and investigation and "I told him whatever you're going to do is fine with me".

"I'd just say, I hope [they] don't do it again."

This was the second incident recorded in Salt Lake City on Sunday, a man was filmed during the protests brandishing a bow and arrow.