San Francisco police on Monday responded to allegations of police brutality in an incident in the Mission district over the weekend that began when a bicyclist was stopped for riding on the sidewalk.
Four people were arrested and two officers were reportedly injured during a confrontation Sunday afternoon between police and multiple people outside Valencia Gardens Apartments.
A video posted on YouTube that captured part of the incident has led some to allege police brutality, in part because during the video a plainclothes officer can be seen running up to a man, pushing him and beginning to spar with him.
On Monday, police said they had every right to get physical with the suspects.
About 3:40 p.m. Sunday, Officer Gordon Shyy said, officers from the Violence Reduction Team were patrolling the area of Maxwell Court and Rosa Parks Lane and stopped a bicyclist for allegedly riding on the sidewalk, a violation of city law.
Shyy said at least two of the three officers had their badges displayed when they approached the bicyclist, identified as 20-year-old D’Paris Williams of San Francisco. Williams allegedly continued riding despite police commands to stop.
The officers followed him to an apartment on Maxwell Court, where they said Williams resisted their attempts to detain him. After forcing Williams to the ground in front of the residence, “multiple subjects came out of the home and created a hostile situation for the officers,” Shyy said.
More officers were called and during an ensuing confrontation, an officer was almost struck with a cane and another officer was bitten, Shyy said. Two officers were transported to a local hospital — one with a bite wound and another for an arm injury, Shyy said.
As for the incident captured on video, Shyy claimed the plainclothes officer was justified in attacking one of the suspects, identified as 25-year-old Orlando Rodriguez.
While an officer was attempting to detain one man, according to police, an allegedly foul-mouthed Rodriguez approached from behind. After ignoring orders to stand back, another cop — the plainclothes officer — aggressively moved to take Rodriguez into custody, Shyy said.
“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 said.
Williams was booked on charges of assault and battery on a peace officer, felony resisting arrest, a traffic violation and an outstanding traffic warrant. Antoine Bradford, 22, of San Francisco was booked on charges of assault and battery of a peace officer and resisting arrest. Masai Bradford Jr., 24, was booked on outstanding warrants. Rodriguez, 25, was cited for misdemeanor resisting arrest.
<p> “It is unclear whether the officers identified themselves or not, but they did proceed to get out of their car, grab [Williams] from behind as he was entering the home and beat him for no apparent reason,” Jensen wrote.
A protest declaring “justice for D’Paris Williams and all victims of police brutality” is planned at Valencia Gardens Apartments at the corner of Rosa Parks Lane and Valencia streets at 5 p.m. Tuesday, according to answercoalition.org.