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If you don\’t understand white supremacy/racism, what it is and how it works, the issue of police brutality will only confuse you. [MORE]
From [HERE] San Francisco police have been accused of using excessive force in a bloody incident that escalated after officers allegedly beat a Black man for riding his bicycle on the sidewalk. New video of the arrest is above.
Video footage of the event has also surfaced showing multiple arrests, including one that occurred after a white plainclothes officer confronted a man and began fighting with him. The man is soon arrested and led to a police car with a bloodied face.
The incident at the Valencia Gardens apartments began when 20-year-old D’Paris “DJ” Williams was told by police to stop riding his bicycle on the sidewalk. Both Williams’ family and law enforcement agree that Williams did not listen to the undercover, plainclothes officers’ commands, but the family said it was because Williams was listening to music and did not hear what police said. [MORE]
Williams kept riding, and officers detained him as he tried to enter his apartment. Police said he resisted arrest after refusing to comply with their orders. Williams was forced to the ground when his sister, Christina, says that police used excessive force on a man that was just trying to get into his house.
“One choking him, one pinned all his weight on him, leaning on him and the lady over there trying to put the handcuffs on him,” she told the local KPIX station. “And he started beating on him for no reason.”
At this point, multiple residents came outside and the situation escalated. According to police officer Gordon Shy’s account to the San Francisco Examiner, “multiple subjects came out of the home and created a hostile situation for the officers.”
The video footage posted to YouTube mostly captures the tail end of this incident, when one man has already been brought to the ground and another, later identified as 25-year-old Orlando Rodriguez, is confronted by the plainclothes officer in a baseball cap.
The video has sparked accusations of police brutality, but police say the officers used reasonable force against those who resisted arrest. Police told the Examiner that two of the three officers who approached Williams about his bike had their badges displayed and added that officers came under attack when the confrontation escalated.
According to Shy, one officer was nearly hit with a cane while another was bitten. Two were transported to the hospital to be treated for injuries.
“If an officer feels that he, she or another officer are under the threat of physical violence, then they have the right to defend that officer, which was what the officer was trying to do,” Shyy told the Examiner.
Travis Jensen, the man who took the YouTube video and who\’s also a friend of Williams’ cousin, said the situation would not have gotten worse if people didn’t feel the police were abusing their power.
“Clearly something not right is happening here,” Jensen said to KPIX. “People don’t get that upset for no reason. They were upset because they were seeing DJ getting beaten.”
Williams was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, and riding his bike on the sidewalk. Rodriguez was cited for misdemeanor resisting arrest and released. Two others were also arrested – 22-year-old Antoine Bradford for assault and battery of a police officer, and 24-year-old Masai Bradford, Jr. for outstanding warrants.
Williams and Antoine Bradford have both been released and their cases discharged, pending further investigation.
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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 S.F. 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.
As mentioned, after DJ was allegedly assaulted and taken to SF General, the Valencia Garden community spilled out into the street in protest of the violence. Residents began filming and soon captured footage of officers attacking protesters. Around 1:30, an officer can be seen punching a detained man on the ground:
That man, who can also be seen earlier in the video trying to pull an aggravated man away from officers and then being attacked, was later seen with his face bloodied:
We’ll update as this story develops.
UPDATE 2:00pm: We’re now getting more information about the incident.
We’re told that the scene unfolded right as DJ was entering his house. As he was questioned byundercover narcotic agents plainclothes officers from the Violence Reduction Team, the officer in the black baseball hat (pictured above) grabbed DJ and shoved his head into his front door. DJ’s sister, who was holding a newborn baby, was witness to the entire scene. When she approached the door where DJ was being assaulted, a second officer pushed her.
They then dragged DJ into the street and punched him in the head until he was knocked out. Others in lock-up with DJ report that he blacked out and has no recollection of what happened. DJ is still in custody and not being allowed to speak to anyone; however, criminal charges are yet to be filed.
Currently two of the other three men who were arrested have been released.
We’re told the man seen holding the cane in the video is a gay, HIV-positive man who needs his cane because of medical complications. The police are continuing to hold him in custody, allegedly because his cane is being considered a “deadly weapon.”
Orlando (last name unknown), who had his face bloodied after pulling the man with the cane away from officers, was released “a few hours ago,” according to Travis Jensen.
UPDATE 7:45pm: We are still yet to receive a comment from SFPD about the incident. We’ll continue trying to reach someone from their Media Relations Department.
UPDATE 9:00am: SFPD just released this 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, 4 suspects were arrested. 2 felony and 1 misdemeanor arrests resulted in bookings. One misdemeanor arrest resulted in a cite.
We have requested surveillance footage recorded by the SF Housing Authority and for comment on the officer who charged at a bystander. We’ll update if we receive more word.
UPDATE 10:30am: SFPD denied our request for surveillance footage, saying:
The video surveillance is evidence for the assault and battery on the officers.
The officers have not been suspended. There is a criminal investigation into the suspects that assaulted and battered the officers and resisted arrest.
Persons wishing to file a complaint may do so with the Office of Citizen’s Complaints (OCC).
Williams is in court today facing four felony charges and one misdemeanor charge. Orlando, who has been released, has reportedly claimed Williams has been in the infirmary most of the weekend and “looks like he was in a bad car accident.”
UPDATE 4:45pm: At Williams’ arraignment at SF Superior Court this afternoon, his bail was set at $143k. Read on.
UPDATE 6:15pm: A new video showing Williams screaming in pain and unable to walk following the beating has been released.
UPDATE 9:30pm: KTVU is now reporting that the District Attorney has “discharged the case against Mr. Williams and another man pending further investigation.”
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One of the main culprits is Officer Mike Najm, who texted a picture of a black man in the back of a trailer and typed, “Gotta love the coloreds.” In one video, Najm can be heard telling a mentally ill black man to sing.
Most of the videos are shot from squad cars while African American men are told to sing or “dance like a chimp.” Some of the subjects are even in the back of police cars.
Grosse Pointe Park Capt. David Loch said earlier today he was skeptical of the allegations because of a contentious divorce between Najm and his ex-wife, whom Loch presumed to be the source of the texts. But after we watched more than a dozen racially charged videos this afternoon sent from officers in his department, Loch said he would immediately investigate.
“If you are in possession of something, we will meet with you,” Loch offered.
We are not revealing the source of the texts and videos but were able to verify they were sent from the cell phones of police officers. Many of the photos and videos have been forwarded numerous times.
“It’s disgusting,” the source of the messages said. “It’s part of the culture in Grosse Pointe.”
Najm didn’t return calls or texts for comment.
Because of the humiliating nature of some of the videos, we aren’t publishing most of them.
On the border of Detroit, Grosse Pointe is emblematic of the racial divide. In 1960, a civil case revealed the community used a screening process to effectively make it impossible for black people and “Orientals” to buy property. Grosse Pointe remains an area of wealth and privilege – and critics say it has done little to ease fears of racism.
“I won’t even go there anymore,” Anthony Baker, who is black, told me. “Last three times I went, I got pulled over every single time. Never got a ticket, just lots of questions.”
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