Police in San Francisco have been accused of brutality after video allegedly showed them beating a man for riding his bicycle on the sidewalk Friday afternoon.
The family of D’Paris Charles “DJ” Williams told KPIX that the 20-year-old was listening to music and didn’t hear plainclothes officers tell him to stop riding his bike on the sidewalk at the Valencia Gardens public housing complex in the Mission Dolores neighborhood. According to his family and other witnesses, the officers then used excessive force, leaving Williams bloody.
“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,” Williams’ sister, Christina, recalled. “And he started beating on him for no reason.”
Cellphone video posted to YouTube shows angry residents and a significant police presence around Williams.
“Clearly something not right is happening here,” Travis Jensen, who took the cellphone video, explained to KPIX. “People don’t get that upset for no reason. They were upset because they were seeing DJ getting beaten.”
But Police spokesperson Officer Gordon Shyy insisted that the officers had used “reasonable force” after attempting to stop Williams for a vehicle code violation.
“They attempted to detain him,” Shyy said. “However, he became combative and resisted arrest.”
Williams was arrested on suspicion of assault and battery on an officer, felony resisting arrest and a traffic code violation. He also had an outstanding warrant.
Police arrested three other bystanders during the incident.
Williams was scheduled to be released from jail on Monday night. His family was planning a rally for 5 p.m. on Monday. They have vowed to file a complaint against the department.
Watch this video from KPIX, broadcast Nov. 18, 2013.
Watch this video form YouTube, broadcast Nov. 15, 2013.