Outrage erupted on the steps of City Hall on Tuesday as nearly 200 people called for charges to be dropped against college football player Deshon Marman, a San Francisco native who is accused of resisting arrest after a confrontation over his sagging pants on a US Airways flight last month.
Speakers said while the protest was not meant to endorse low-hanging pants as a fashion choice, they believe the 20-year-old Marman was targeted because he is a young black man. That contention is underscored, speakers said, because a white man was previously allowed to travel on US Airways wearing purple lingerie.
“You say you want the pants pulled up,” the Rev. Amos Brown said from the podium. “We say, pull up justice in America.”
Donna Doyle, Marman’s mother, said she was contacted by US Airways and offered a free flight to see her son, but she declined. Doyle said she was offended that the company did not apologize.
US Airways spokesman Andrew Christie said the company is in open communication with Brown and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People regarding the case, but declined to elaborate. Christie said US Airways wants to do what it can to help Marman “land on his feet” and maintain his full football and academic scholarship at the University of New Mexico.
San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said Tuesday he would possibly make a decision today on whether he will file charges against Marman. One report said no charges will be filed.
Marman was arrested on suspicion of battery on a police officer, resisting arrest and trespassing June 15 after a member of the flight crew at San Francisco International Airport asked him to pull up his pajama pants. According to Marman’s attorney, he told the fight attendant his hands were full and he would take care of it when he got to his seat on the Albuquerque, N.M.-bound flight.
When he sat down, police said the flight captain argued with Marman for 10 minutes about the pants and told him to leave the plane. When Marman was arrested, he allegedly scuffled with San Francisco police officers and injured one of them.
After Tuesday’s rally, protesters attended the Board of Supervisors meeting where Supervisor Malia Cohen introduced a resolution to address the incident and ask for US Airways to apologize.
“It’s bulls—,” Cohen said after the rally. “And you can quote me on that.”
Christie said if The City decides to ask for an official apology, none will be offered.
Bay City News contributed to this report.