There are a lot of problems in this country. No doubt about it, and your article highlighted one that bothers me most of all. No it wasn’t the “one legged homeless black man” that was “taken down” by “14 police officers”, it is the fact that too many Americans take dramatic actions without any evidence. We are an emotional society that makes rash decisions and jumps to wild conclusions with little to no evidence or information.
You did a stellar job at exemplifying one of these citizens today. Not once was the official story provided by the police ever reported (however it is provided in the comments by other readers thankfully). Your bias was clear (you were looking for police brutality) so any altercation with police could have lead you to find something to complain about. You have absolutely no idea what really happened before you got there, you just walked across a man pinned to the ground and because there were some white officers and a black man on the ground you naturally jumped to the conclusion that police brutality was involved and that the black man had been targeted for a crime of police brutality.
To further your pursuit, you quoted other police officers (who had no involvement in this interaction) out of context from personal text messages without even properly declaring your source, all to further your story and agenda.
Ironically, you are guilty of the same crime that you accuse the police officers of being guilty of. You believe that they overly analyze and convict black citizens of crimes while you overly analyze white police officers of crimes.
I am not saying that the actions taken on the man were justified. The truth is that I do not know, just like you do not know. It is possible that the police committed a crime and were overly violent or specifically targeted this individual. If that is true then they should pay the consequences for that crime. However it is also possible that the man pinned to the ground had truly committed a crime and the police were justified in his actions. The reality is that we do not know and it is not our job to post onto medium.com declaring a guilty party.
If you want to truly remember the heritage that you claim we have all forgotten then you should remember that one of the founding principles of our justice system was the concept that everybody is innocent until proven guilty. Both the police officers and the man are at this time innocent until the proper legal actions can run their course for both parties and proper evidence is collected and presented at a proper trial. Until these things have occurred I urge you to do the respectful thing that real journalism do, which is to present all parties as innocent and/or “alleged” accomplishes to a crime.
Next time you write a story please make it fair and unbiased. Present the argument of the police officers along with your own. Maintain your emotions and keep those out of the story and just present the facts.
1) you arrived on the scene after the alleged crime had been committed. You did not see exactly what happened, and you do not know to what extent the police were or were not justified to take such action.
2) you witnessed a man who was not wearing a shirt and wearing baggy clothes pinned to the ground by 3 (not 14) police officers.
3) the man was declared homeless and was black and had a prosthetic leg
4) the officers were a fairly even mix of black, Hispanic, and Caucasian races with only 4 of the 14 being white
5) at one point the pinned man kicked the officer (a total of 3 times which was confirmed on camera) after which point the officer restrained his legs. You then annoyingly repeated many times for him to get off his prosthetic leg. Both legs were being pinned equally by the same officer with the same hold.
6) at one point an officer can be heard asking the accused man to stop trying to bite him. While the audio can be confirmed via this footage, no visual indication that the accused man was actually biting the officer is visible
7) when the accused man continues to resist arrest (as is visible on camera) he squirms to break hold of the officers and at one point his loose pants slip down to his lower buttocks revealing his butt to the camera and to spectators. Within seconds, the police officer holding his legs then attempts to pull the man’s pants up again to re-cover his butt. He was largely successful but only covered about 3/4 of his butt, still leaving a small portion of his upper butt visible. As minutes pass and other officers arrive this situation is remedied over the next several minutes.
8) many people gathered around the event with many others also being visible filming with cell phones and shouting.
9) as more officers arrive, they simply circle the accused preventing visibility from spectators as is normal protocol for these interactions.
10) the accused is taken away by ambulance
Please report the facts. We have a justice system for a reason. Let’s remember that. However, I do suggest you deliver this evidence to the SFPD, including anyone else with proper evidence or who were eyewitnesses so that if there was a case of police brutality here, the evidence can help us get any guilty parties the punishment they deserve.
Until which point as you can report objectively, please stop declaring yourself a “journalist”.