Residents of a San Francisco neighborhood are accusing officers of police brutality after a video surfaced of them holding a bicyclist face down before arresting him, according to CBS San Francisco.
Charles “DJ” Williams was riding his bike around the Valencia Gardens houses Friday afternoon, when officers approached Williams for riding on the sidewalk. Cell phone video shows Williams being held face down on the sidewalk before a crowd. He is later dragged away while bloody and crying in distress.
Watch a news report about the incident here, featuring the cell phone video:
Word of Williams’ arrest soon spread through the complex, causing residents to come outside. This sparked another confrontation between officers and people angry at how Williams was being restrained. Per witnesses, the 20-year-old was doing nothing wrong before officers arrested him. Williams’ family also says he was listening to music while riding and didn’t hear their orders to stop.
“Clearly something not right is happening here,” said Travis Jensen, a friend of Williams, who saw the incident.
Watch another explanation of the arrest here:
Jansen claims Williams was riding his bicycle to his apartment when undercover officers approached him. After saying something about riding on the sidewalk, they grabbed him from the back and beat him, he said.
“People don’t get that upset for no reason. They were upset because they were seeing DJ getting beaten,” he added.
“[There was] one (officer) choking him. One pinned all his weight on him, leaning on him, and the lady over there [tried] to put the handcuffs on him,” described Christina, Williams’ sister. When asked if the officers severely harmed her brother, she responded, “Yeah, they did. And he [started] beating on him for no reason.”
However, the department has a different take on the incident.
“They attempted to detain him. However he became combative and resisted arrest,” said San Francisco Police Department spokesperson Gordon Shyy.
According to Shyy, Williams attempted to escape the officers while they were citing him for a vehicular violation.
This, he says, forced them to make the arrest. Officers sustained minor injuries from the attacking crowd; one was bitten and another was almost hit with a cane.
Four people, including Williams, were arrested as a result. He has been charged with suspicion of assault and battery on an officer, felony resisting arrest and a traffic code violation. Williams also had an outstanding warrant at the time of arrest.
He was released from jail Monday evening. His family says they will file a complaint against the department.