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Bicyclist Says San Francisco Police Beat Him During Traffic Stop

Bicyclist Says San Francisco Police Beat Him During Traffic Stop

Postby smix » Mon May 30, 2016 2:20 pm

Bicyclist Says San Francisco Police Beat Him During Traffic Stop
CBS San Francisco

URL: http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2016/0 ... ffic-stop/
Category: Legal
Published: January 13, 2016

Description: SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A 22-year-old bicyclist said he was brutally beaten by San Francisco police after being pulled over for apparently cycling while using his cellphone. The cyclist, Donovan Reid, says that on January 3rd he was delivering a burrito in SoMa when an officer pulled him over. Reid briefly records the encounter using his cellphone camera, but the camera goes off shortly after the officer instructs Reid to put his hands behind his back. The video cuts out and there isn’t any footage until two witnesses, including one of Reid’s friends, begins to roll their cameras. In the videos, Reid can be seen on the ground and it appears that one officer hits him in the knee. Reid says the officers punched him in the stomach and held his legs down. Donovan said he has hospital photos that prove he was injured by police. The San Francisco Police Department has said their Internal Affairs Division is investigating the incident and the Office of Citizen Complaints has been informed. Reid said he thinks the officers were aggressive and that “They should be terminated.” He said there was “No need for that to happen. Not to me. Not to anybody.”
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STATEMENT ON THE ALLEGATIONS THAT SFPD OFFICERS BEAT CYCLIST DONOVAN REID

Postby smix » Mon May 30, 2016 2:38 pm

STATEMENT ON THE ALLEGATIONS THAT SFPD OFFICERS BEAT CYCLIST DONOVAN REID
San Francisco Bicycle Coalition

URL: https://www.sfbike.org/news/statement-o ... ovan-reid/
Category: Politics
Published: January 15, 2016

Description: Allegations made this week by Donovan Reid raise serious questions about police using excessive force against someone biking. Whether Mr. Reid was following the law or not, no one should have to fear being beaten by those employed by our City to serve and protect.



Earlier this week, Donovan Reid reported on Facebook that he was delivering food by bicycle for work and using his phone’s navigation app when a San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) officer detained him for texting while biking. Reid says he informed the officer that he was not texting, but using his navigation app. Reid began using his phone to record the interaction with the officer when the officer “grabbed [his] shirt collar and started punching [him] in [his] stomach.” Reid indicates he was also maced, slammed on the ground, and had the officer’s knee placed on his back. A witness arrived and began filming as Reid says the officer was joined by others, who began beating his legs with a baton. At the hospital, Reid received x-rays which he indicates show a bone chip in his knee from the beating by officers. While hospitalized, he also received citations from the officers, for using his phone while bicycling, riding without brakes and riding without a visible rear reflector. We know that the SFPD remains far short of its promises to focus traffic enforcement on the most dangerous traffic violations. A majority of traffic deaths and severe injuries in SF result from people driving speeding, running red lights, running stop signs, failing to yield to people walking and violating turn restrictions. Instead of keeping their Vision Zero promises and focusing traffic enforcement on these violations, the SFPD’s leadership is overseeing crackdowns on people biking and yet another alleged instance of excessive use of force against a person of color. If the officers allegedly responsible for beating Mr. Reid were instead focused on the five most dangerous traffic behaviors, we would all be safer for it. The SFPD’s Vision Zero promise to the people of San Francisco was that they would focus at least 50 percent of all traffic citations on the five most dangerous violations. In SFPD’s Southern Station, which oversees the area where Mr. Reid was allegedly beaten by police, the proportion of traffic citations for the five most dangerous behaviors has actually fallen over the most recent year of data. From November 2014 to November 2015, Southern Station’s Focus on the Five tickets dropped from 24 percent of all traffic citations to just 16 percent. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is working to hold the SFPD to their promises for safer streets through the Bike Yield Law, which would require the SFPD to treat citing dangerous traffic violations as a higher priority than citing people biking in ways that threaten no one. SF’s Bike Yield Law has been passed and awaits action by Mayor Ed Lee. Please write Mayor Lee today, and ask him to sign the Bike Yield Law and give the SFPD the direction to focus on delivering safer streets, rather than permitting continued chaos under the SFPD’s present leadership: mayoredwinlee@sfgov.org
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Cyclist accuses S.F. police of brutality in stop over cell phone

Postby smix » Mon May 30, 2016 2:49 pm

Cyclist accuses S.F. police of brutality in stop over cell phone
SFGate

URL: http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Vid ... 759879.php
Category: Legal
Published: January 14, 2016

Description: A bicyclist says San Francisco police officers used excessive force after stopping him for allegedly using a cell phone in the South of Market neighborhood this month — an arrest that was partially caught on video and that has sparked an internal affairs investigation. Donovan Reid was stopped while making a food delivery Jan. 3 for Postmates, he wrote on Facebook. The officer told him he was illegally texting, and Reid said he responded that he was actually using navigation. Reid said that after he began recording the exchange on his phone, the officer told him to drop it. The officer then “grabbed my shirt collar and started punching me in my stomach,” Reid said. “He reached for his mace and impaired my vision and then began grabbing me by my neck and slamming me to the ground, placing his knee on my back.” Soon, Reid said, more officers arrived and “began holding my legs in the air and beating my legs, while telling me to stop resisting and keep my legs on the ground. I told him I couldn’t do that because someone is beating my legs and holding my legs in the air.” A woman recorded the interaction, posting a 16-second video on Twitter. It shows Reid face down and screaming, and an officer is seen holding one of his legs and beating it with a baton. Reid posted pictures of his bloody and bruised legs, as well as an x-ray showing what he said was a bone chip in his knee. He said he was taken to the hospital and issued two citations, which he posted on Facebook. The alleged offenses were listed as disobeying a traffic order, battery on a peace officer and resisting arrest, as well as three traffic infractions of using a phone while bicycling, riding without brakes and riding without a visible rear reflector. On Reid’s cell-phone recording, which was first aired by KPIX, an officer is heard asking Reid for his license, which Reid said he did not have at the time. Officer Albie Esparza, a police spokesman, said that, in general, if a person being cited does not have identification, an officer has the right to detain the person. “We cannot issue a citation to somebody who does not have identification,” Esparza said. “We’re not going to take someone’s verbal information and cite them because then we’re liable for misinformation. If we cannot identify you, we have to bring you to the station.” Esparza said that internal affairs is looking into the allegations that officers used excessive force. The city’s Office of Citizen Complaints is also looking into the case. “No officer likes to use force,” Esparza said. “But when you have to effect an arrest, force sometimes is necessary, and the California penal code authorizes officers to do so in order to do our jobs.”
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San Francisco Police Beat a Man for Riding His Bike on the Sidewalk

Postby smix » Mon May 30, 2016 3:31 pm

San Francisco Police Beat a Man for Riding His Bike on the Sidewalk
Vice

URL: https://www.vice.com/read/sf-citizens-p ... -black-man
Category: Politics
Published: November 20, 2013

Description: On Friday, the San Francisco Police Department took a brief respite from writing parking tickets and evicting minorities to facilitate a citywide act of goodwill; letting a little kid with cancer pretend to be the Batman. This pos-vibes fiesta lasted only a few hours before ending with the unexplained SFPD beating of 20-year-old D'Paris “DJ” Williams as he was biking home after the day’s festivities to his apartment in Valencia Gardens, in the city's Mission District. The Gardens is a low-income housing project that was once a hotbed for gang violence until about eight years ago. Since major renovations and evictions in 2006, the neighborhood has become quiet, clean, and clearly safer than other areas in the Mission like the 16th St. BART station. These days, police cars often idle at the corner of Rosa Parks Lane inside the complex. The biggest problem in the Gardens is no longer its residents. The continued police presence and intimidation has become, at best, a nuisance, especially in light of this most recent assault. Photographer Travis Jensen, a friend of D’Paris, posted his account of the altercation on Instagram: “Yesterday afternoon, while riding his bicycle home from the Make A Wish Foundation's "Bat Kid" happenings, DJ was confronted by two undercover police officers in an unmarked vehicle at the Valencia Gardens Apartments in the City's Mission District. Apparently, the officers said something to DJ about riding his bicycle on the sidewalk as he was pulling up to his home in the complex. It is unclear whether the officers identified themselves or not, but did proceed to get out of their car, grab DJ from behind as he was entering the home and beat him for no apparent reason. A police search uncovered a cupcake and juice that DJ had just purchased from the corner store. Nobody has spoken to DJ since the incident occurred as he was immediately taken to SF General Hospital for treatment, and then to the 850 Bryant police station. So far, it appears no charges have been made against DJ either. There is building video surveillance footage of DJ's confrontation w/ police, but it that has yet to be released by housing authority. Furthermore, three residents came to DJ's aid when they saw officers beating him up, only to find themselves also under attack by officers. By this time, uniformed backup had arrived on the scene. Including DJ, a total of four individuals were beaten and arrested by officers.” After preventing DJ from enjoying his cupcake and juice in the comfort of his living room after a day of comity, police took the 20-year-old to the hospital, while news of the altercation spread through the projects. In the video below, you can see a beaten D’Paris struggling to walk, yelling “What the fuuuck?” and being taken into custody. As residents stepped outside in curiosity and protest, police cars began swarming the Gardens, ostensibly to prevent a riot.



Another video shows cops moving quickly to quell the crowd. One of the plainclothes cops boldly swings at a bearded man, Orlando Williams, before uniformed police take him down. The same bearded man is shown bloodied later on.



Once the dust had cleared, four individuals were placed under arrest, including a man with HIV whose cane was classified as a “deadly weapon," a semi-conscious D’Paris, and bloody, bearded Orlando, who told reporters from Uptown Almanac that D’Paris spent the weekend in the infirmary, looking like "he was in a bad car accident." By Monday, three of the men had been released, and D’Paris was charged with one felony for assault, three felonies for resisting, and one misdemeanor for the bicycle infraction that started off the whole thing. His bail was set at $143,000, and the SFPD released the following statement: “At approximately 3:41 PM Friday, officers from the Violence Reduction Team, working a plainclothes assignment attempted to stop a bicyclist in the area of Maxell and Rosa Parks for a California vehicle code infraction. The suspect fled from the officers after they identified themselves as police. The suspect attempted to flee into a residence. The officers confronted the suspect near the doorway and requested additional units for assistance. The suspect failed to comply with lawful orders from the officers and continued to resist the officers. Reasonable force was used by the officers to effect the arrest. During this incident, multiple subjects came from the rear of the residence and formed a hostile crowd around the officers. One subject attempted to strike an officer with a cane, while another suspect bit an officer. Two officers suffered non-life threatening injuries. In total, four suspects were arrested. Two felony and one misdemeanor arrests resulted in bookings. One misdemeanor arrest resulted in a cite.” It’s great to know that we have so little violent crime in this city that the Violence Reduction Team, which is officially defined as a “citywide team of officers that respond to violent crime and high priority calls in an attempt to reduce violent crimes," has nothing better to do than hang around Valencia Gardens in plainclothes, citing bicyclists outside their own homes on what is effectively a residential street. Despite the charges being dropped by Monday night, a protest was announced for Tuesday evening at the Mission Police Department.

valencia-gardens-protest.jpg

The protest began in the middle of Valencia Gardens. I live closeby and I could hear it through my bedroom window. “What do we want?” a woman shouted into a megaphone, “JUSTICE!” answered the crowd. “When do we want it?” “NOW!” The sun had almost set and it had started to rain as at least a hundred protesters holding signs and banners began to make their way down Valencia St. Up ahead, officers surrounded the police station and blocked off the street. I asked one cop standing near the door what they were expecting, but got no reply. Protesters began lining the street and surrounding the front of the police station, the woman on the megaphone insisting that it was a peaceful protest, “And if one of you hurts my kids, you’re getting the smackdown!” she warned, before starting to chant, “Stop police brutality!” A group of protesters identified themselves as D’Paris’s teachers, and I spoke to one who gave his name as Math Maddox—as in “mathematics"—who’d come out all the way from Bayview.
VICE: We’re out here protesting, but what actually has to happen to stop police brutality in San Francisco?
Math: At this point I feel like it’s us against them, police against the brown and black community, so whether it’s sensitivity training, or if it’s going to be some type of mediation, or some type of way to resolve police fears.
What do you mean by "police fear" Is that exclusive to the SFPD?
Police fears is what keeps this going, fear that things are going to be escalating, and that they gotta bust heads before it happens. They feel the need to go for the jugular immediately so that they don’t have to worry about anybody else following up behind them.
How long have you known D'Paris?
He was in my class in the 6th grade, and years after that he still came to visit. So, he’s a good guy.
Do you think that he did anything wrong, or that the original bike citation was legitimate?
No. Not considering all of the other stuff that could be going on [for police to deal with], and DJ is a smart, smart guy. As a matter of a fact, I see myself in him. As one of the good guys or smart guys who’s not dealing drugs or bothering people, et cetera. I had people looking out for me, making sure I don’t get in trouble, and now that’s where D’Paris is, except now it’s too late. Brother’s going to school, he’s working, and there it is, it wasn’t enough for them.
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Allegations of Police Brutality Spark Protest

Postby smix » Mon May 30, 2016 5:20 pm

Allegations of Police Brutality Spark Protest
MissionLocal

URL: http://missionlocal.org/2013/11/allegat ... k-protest/
Category: Politics
Published: November 20, 2013

Description: Rainy weather failed to deter some 200 people from gathering on Valencia Street Tuesday evening to peacefully protest what they allege was an incident of police brutality that began last Friday when police asked a 20-year-old riding his bike on the sidewalk at Valencia Gardens to stop.

mission-police-station-protest.jpg

Early Tuesday morning, officials released the young man, D’Paris “D.J.” Williams, from jail without pressing charges, according to his cousin. The dropped charges could not be independently confirmed. However, KTVU reported Tuesday that the Office of Citizen Complaints, which investigates charges against SFPD officers, is looking into the incident. “The public’s trust is everything to us, and so we are going to have to have a fully transparent investigation,” Police Chief Greg Suhr told KTVU. Officer Gordon Shyy told Mission Local earlier that officers attempted to detain Williams, but he was resistant and combative. Other Valencia Gardens residents became combative as well, Shyy said. Cell phone videos that have surfaced of Friday’s events show a bleeding and moaning Williams being taken away by police and officers throwing two other men to the ground. Four men, including Williams, were arrested, and according to KGO-TV, no charges are being filed, pending a further investigation. Dressed in a bright pink hooded jacket, Selina Rodriguez, whose brother Orlando Rodriguez was among those arrested, led the crowd of protesters with a bullhorn, shouting chants of “What do we want? Justice! When do we need it? Now!” “My brother put on Facebook that he never felt so disrespected in his life and felt like garbage,” Selina told the crowd. When Mission Local spoke with Orlando earlier in the day on Tuesday, he said all the attention was a little “overwhelming and embarrassing.” He said that he had been detained by police for a few hours on Friday before being let go. Antoine Bradford, who was also arrested, attended the march, but declined to speak. “I’m hurt,” he said. The protest kicked off at the Mission Police Station at 17th and Valencia streets as police officers stood guard in front of the building and on the roof of the station house. Others sat ready on their motorcycles on Valencia. Selina asked how many of the protesters had seen one of the cell phone videos of Friday’s events. Hands went up. “We need the names of the police officers who did this,” she told the protesters. “If we don’t get their names, we’re not going to get justice.” Another protester took a turn with the bullhorn, asking why police officers aren’t trained to use “psychology” over force. “Twenty or thirty years ago…they would have said, ‘Can you please ride your bike on the street?’ like somebody else,” said Jesse Ponce, 48, who grew up in the Mission. “A humane thing. A human thing. A suggestion that would have worked.” Norm Mattox, who taught Williams at James Lick Middle School, said that when he heard about the events involving Williams, he was “incredulous.” He remembered Williams fondly and showed up to demonstrate that he cared about his former student. “I am appalled by the short leash on the use of force when it isn’t necessary, especially when it seems that police power and authority is being questioned or challenged by a brown or black male individual,” Mattox wrote in an email to Mission Local before the protest. “It’s almost getting to be a non-event when I hear that another black or brown boy or man was ‘kept in check’ by the same agency that is supposed to ‘protect and serve.’” Ahkeel Mestayer, 18, who went to middle school with Williams, called the situation “messed up.” Mestayer said, “It just further proves that we have not come as far as we like to believe we have in terms of our views on race, class and how safe we are here in the U.S. as people of color.” Juana Ramirez, who lives in Valencia Gardens, joined the protest because her son went through something similar, she said. About two years ago, she said, police pushed her son to the ground and then arrested him. He was released without charges two days later, Ramirez said. “I want this to stop.” The families of all the men involved are meeting with attorneys and threatening to sue, Selina said. A candlelight vigil will be held at 15th and Guerrero on Friday at 5 p.m. to mark the one-week anniversary of the incident.
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Valencia Gardens Student Settles for $20K in Lawsuit Against Police

Postby smix » Mon May 30, 2016 5:29 pm

Valencia Gardens Student Settles for $20K in Lawsuit Against Police
MissionLocal

URL: http://missionlocal.org/2015/07/valenci ... st-police/
Category: Legal
Published: July 31, 2015

Description: San Francisco has agreed to pay $20,000 to the 21-year-old student who sued the city late last year after being allegedly beaten by three plainclothes police officers in 2013 for riding his bike on the sidewalk. Video of the event went viral on the internet at the time and sparked protests against police brutality.



dj-williams-arrest.jpg




“The settlement was for $20,000,” said Andrea Guzman, a spokesperson for the city attorney’s office. “The only thing I can add was we were able to settle before either side incurred significant legal expenses.” DeWitt Lacy, the attorney representing D’Paris “DJ” Williams in his lawsuit against the city, said the settlement was made “sometime in June” and that the city paid for medical bills in addition to the $20,000 settlement. “A lot of it is medical costs we’re taking care of, so the $20,000 figure is misleading,” Lacy said. “He had a pretty substantial medical bill from not only the ambulance that took him to the hospital but also the treatment he received, and that was all taken care of by city.” The suit by Williams, then 20 years old, alleged wrongful detention and excessive force, while the city alleged that Williams had bitten one of the officers during the arrest, according to Lacy. He said that this was false, but that “none of that justifies the officers grabbing him and throwing him out of his house and beating him beforehand.” The incident occurred on November 15th, 2013 — a Friday afternoon when Williams was returning from attending the “Batkid” events downtown. He was riding his bicycle on the sidewalk in front of Valencia Gardens when plainclothes officers confronted him near his front door. The officers told him to stop. William’s sister Christina told Mission Local at the time that Williams went into her apartment with the bike and that officers then “yanked” and “dragged” him out of the house before “slamm[ing] him to the ground.” Police spokesperson Officer Gordon Shyy said at the time that the plainclothes officers identified themselves to Williams and tried to stop and cite the young man for the traffic violation, at which point he ignored their commands and continued to a Valencia Gardens apartment. Shyy described Williams as resistant and combative. He was arrested for resisting arrest, assault, and riding his bike on the sidewalk, but was released the following Tuesday with all charges dropped. During the arrest, residents of Valencia Gardens encircled the police and “formed a hostile crowd,” according to Shyy. Police then called for backup and a melee broke out between officers and those present, resulting in four arrests and injuries to two men as well as two police officers. Williams was represented by the Law Offices of John Burris, the same firm that representing the family of Alex Nieto after his slaying by police officers in 2014. Lacy, Williams’s lawyer, added today that the $20,000 settlement covered legal fees and that he would have gone to trial but Williams was “satisfied” with the settlement offered to him. “I’m happy when my clients are happy,” he said. “I am a very veracious advocate for my clients, and I would have been happy to take this matter to trial.”
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Protests a reminder: We can’t whitewash the past

Postby smix » Mon May 30, 2016 8:11 pm

Protests a reminder: We can’t whitewash the past
San Francisco Examiner

URL: http://archives.sfexaminer.com/sanfranc ... id=2913813
Category: Politics
Published: December 9, 2014

Description: Two black men were killed and, in the aftermath, protests have raged across the country. These protests have been called riots, and now some people have stopped listening. The need to reform police after the deaths of two black men, Eric Garner in New York City and Mike Brown in Ferguson, Mo., is a discussion worth having. Here in The City, the names of the officers who shot and killed Alex Nieto, a young Latino man, will soon be released. Accusations of racism continue to swirl around the March 21 Bernal Heights shooting. We need a frank discussion on race now more than ever, nationally and locally. Yes, violence erupted in recent Berkeley and San Francisco protests. But it's important to consider why they contained elements of violence, and whether we are listening to the voices of the disenfranchised. Across the social-media sphere we see people tuning out. "The violence works AGAINST everyone!" tweets Twitter user khwalz, one of countless similar examples, "The peaceful protests were much more effective! You'll lose the country's sympathy!" One particularly egregious argument claims Martin Luther King Jr.'s protests were entirely nonviolent, a counterexample to the current riotous Ferguson protests. "This is a sanitized, mythological view of the civil rights movement," said Tarik Farrar, 62, chair of City College of San Francisco's African American Studies Department. "It's a narrative that doesn't see the reality." In Memphis, Tenn., in 1968, sanitation workers marched in a strike for higher wages. King arrived to find the massive crowd of thousands in chaos, according to the Stanford Encyclopedia. Shops were looted, and a 16-year-old was shot and killed by police, who later teargassed a church. Though no one should openly advocate for violence, Farrar said, mass outrage played a key role in shaping history, and he defines the phenomenon as "urban rebellion." "[Urban rebellions] happened year after year, summer after summer, during the civil-rights movement," he said, and helped spur needed civil-rights policy reform from President Lyndon B. Johnson. Many of us argue the merits of the Ferguson protests on Facebook endlessly, tuning out those who disagree. While engaged in these digital debates, I often think of my childhood friend who went on to join the Police Department. As a first-year officer, he has risked his life to save others, one time nearly drowning to save someone attempting suicide. Police put their lives at risk every day, and I can see why they feel attacked in these conversations. Science further complicates the debate. The UC Berkeley sociology project Deciding Force is analyzing data from police actions in Occupy protests nationwide. Early findings show police with military gear tend to spur more violence in protesters, while those who dress as traditional officers are met with more peace. Criticizing the police can often seem unfair to those that don't experience daily injustice, but living through racism everyday is also unfair. D'Paris Williams, 21, was tackled by plainclothes officers in the Mission's Valencia Gardens housing complex in November of last year. They were in search of weapons, and Williams had none. A brawl ensued. Williams said he feels his episode was similar to what happened to Mike Brown and Eric Garner, but different in one way: Williams lived. He said that walking down the street, he often feels the burden of watchful eyes, fearing him and his blackness. "No one wants to touch me, speak to me or be near me," he said. "I get that a lot." "It's horrible," he said, to watch people giving him a wide berth on a sidewalk, or walk across the street after casting him a wary eye. He's been stopped by police more times than he can count. "A conservative may say those neighborhoods experience more crime, and therefore its justifiable to have more police there," Public Defender Jeff Adachi said. "But the numbers of people of color stopped and frisked are still disproportionately off. Those enforcements don't bear fruit. You cannot justify the higher arrests of black Americans." "Burning crosses have evolved," Williams said. I asked him to describe what it's like to be shunned, daily. "It tenses you up with every step you take, it builds and builds," Williams said. "You feel anger. Why are people treating you like this? You wonder what they're saying. It's so many mixed emotions, I don't know how to explain it." But that turmoil is often discounted by those with privilege, especially when protests spontaneously become urban rebellions. "These are not planned things, they're explosions," Farrar said. And historically, they've had impact. Hopefully we can start listening to the protesters in our own backyard, and strive for change, together. Or we could just keep arguing endlessly on Facebook, and howl into the digital ether.
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Young Black Man in Merced, CA Arrested for Riding Bicycle

Postby smix » Mon May 30, 2016 8:59 pm

Young Black Man in Merced, CA Arrested for Riding Bicycle
Teen Vogue

URL: http://www.teenvogue.com/story/merced-c ... e-sidewalk
Category: Legal
Published: May 24, 2016

Description: On April 28, Officer Martinez of the Merced, California, police department stopped 19-year-old Jordan Lloyd on a sidewalk in the city to supposedly cite him for riding his bicycle on the sidewalk. The interaction became tense, then physical, and soon another cop, Officer Gonzales, appeared on the scene and wrapped his hands around Jordan's throat while he was being detained. Gonzales then kicked Jordan's feet out from under him. The entire event was filmed by Lloyd's friend, 18-year-old Bryce Snell, until he was violently apprehended himself.



Martinez stopped Jordan under the small northern California town's municipal code section 10.44.040., which designates where bicycles can't be operated in consideration of pedestrian safety. First, before we accept the reality that both sides in this altercation could have handled the situation far better, there are several points that must be noted. We have no idea what happened before the tape starts. While one cannot definitively conclude what was said beforehand, there are some very telling and problematic issues with the initial conversation. When Jordan asks why he must hand over his ID, Martinez says, "so that I can..." and then she speaks into her mic and never finishes the thought. At no point throughout the recording did she clearly indicate to either of the young men exactly what the citation was for, and exactly which rule was broken. This is important to note because while she's not legally wrong for citing Lloyd, it's confusing as to why simply communicating the infraction is such a big deal to her. If Jordan didn't know that he was breaking the law, it might have been confusing to him as to why he was being pulled over. He wasn't robbing a store, after all — he was just riding his bike. California has very unique bicycle laws. Riders are required to carry and produce identification, a point that should have been clearly communicated to Jordan by Martinez in order to prevent any escalation. Instead of calmly explaining this, the officer decided to arrest Jordan. This led to Gonzales's heavy-handed intervention and Bryce, who was actually acquiescing to officer's demands while filming, being forcefully arrested, too. A press release from the Merced Police Department says Jordan is being charged with resisting arrest, threatening a police officer, and riding his bike on a sidewalk prohibited from bicycles. Bryce has been charged with resisting arrest under California Penal Code 148(a)(1), which is defined as resisting, delaying, or obstructing peace officers performing an official duty. Bryce's charge is incredibly problematic because, as the American Civil Liberties Union clearly outlines, "taking photographs of things that are plainly visible from public spaces is a constitutional right." The fact that Bryce was summarily accosted could be easily seen as a violation of his First Amendment rights. Whenever we watch videos like this, there's typically a steep cultural divide that's evident in the responses. Many of those used to societal privilege will see the young man as illogically resisting the minimal punishment of a non-serious offense, while groups more familiar with societal oppression will hear the solemn defiance of a man demanding to be treated with humanity. The problem here has less to do with the specifics surrounding municipal codes and more to do with the general distrust that prevents many in communities of color from willfully accepting how they're policed. And the inability of many law enforcement officials to effectively communicate with members of marginalized communities is startling. At some point, law enforcement officials will need to seriously consider the importance of communication and de-escalation. Especially in communities where systemic racial, religious, and socioeconomic prejudices exist, video has become the greatest equalizer. Countless cases, which we may never have heard about in the absence of video, have become national storylines thanks to the existence of irrefutable visual evidence. If you watch the video above, it's not apparent that Jordan is threatening the officer. He merely asked a question, and now Merced finds itself embroiled in controversy as footage showing an unnecessarily rough arrest has spread far and wide on social media.
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