San Francisco Cops Pin Down Disabled Man

Christian Taylor, Sandra Bland, Samuel DuBose, Freddie Gray, Michael Brown; there is no shortage of names to remind us of the ongoing issue of police brutality in the U.S.

Now, more horrific video has emerged, revealing a homeless Black man with a prosthetic leg being wrestled to the ground by police officers on August 4, 2015 in the mid-Market area of San Francisco, just outside Twitter headquarters.

The scene was filmed by Chaédria LaBouvier, who was visiting San Francisco; her 11-minute video, which has now been viewed more than 384,000 times, opens with five officers straddling the struggling man and trying to pin him down. 

They are there because an anonymous caller said there was someone waving sticks around in a dangerous way. The sticks mentioned by the caller are actually the man’s crutches.

One officer is even kneeling directly on the man’s prosthetic leg, and when the man’s pants fall below his buttocks, it takes officers several minutes to pull them back up.

As Chaédria LaBouvier says, while recording the video, “This is how you treat citizens? You’re having him partially nude while you pin him down on his prosthetic leg? You don’t protect and serve this community if that’s policing to you.”

Throughout the video, the man can be heard saying, “Please get off me,” “Get off me, man. That hurts,” and “Just let me go.”

One officer assures LaBouvier that she is “more than welcome to film” as he asks her to move back, but gradually more officers arrive and stand around the ongoing altercation, presumably to block the view of smartphone cameras. The clip ends with a wheelchair being brought to the man.

732 People Killed By Police In U.S. So Far This Year

This isn’t the first time San Francisco cops have been in trouble in 2015. First six police officers were accused of stealing from drug dealers, and then federal prosecutors released racist and homophobic text messages. Eventually, in May, prosecutors dismissed eight criminal cases involving arrests linked to 14 officers who traded those texts.

As a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, I am appalled by these events.

The staggering level of police brutality in the U.S. is being monitored by The Guardian. “The Counted” lists everyone killed by police officers; so far, this year, 732 people in the U.S. have been killed by police officers. All the names, dates and methods of killing are listed. Users can search by name, by state or by date to find the horrific details of each case.

Even this is probably far below the actual number. Sandra Bland, for example, died in police custody on July 13. However, because she allegedly committed suicide, she doesn’t appear on this list. The reality is that she would never have been in jail if Texas police officer Brian Encinia had not threatened her with a Taser after a routine traffic stop, yelled “I will light you up!” and subsequently slammed her head to the ground. 

How many Sandra Blands go unnoticed?

In the San Francisco instance, there were bystanders with camera phones ready to record the police. But how many times do such incidents happen without anybody knowing about them?

The use of police body cameras can change this.

Take Action Now

Back in 2013, the San Francisco Police Department announced they would be getting body cameras as part of a pilot program funded by a $25,000 federal grant. But it never happened.

Now Mayor Ed Lee is proposing that the city spend more than $3 million dollars to give every patrol officer a body-worn camera, tapping funds from his two-year budget.

If you are horrified by the treatment this homeless, disabled man received at the hands of San Francisco police officers, please sign our petition urging Mayor Ed Lee to speed up the process of putting body cameras on all officers. Body cameras alone won’t solve all problems, but they will ensure that officers are held accountable for their actions.



Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 years ago

thanks for the article.

Nikki Davey
Nikki Davey2 years ago

Five policemen for one suspect seems a little extreme.

janet T.
janet t2 years ago

Why do cops feel they have to control and arrest every one who is just living their lives??Most of these 'take-downs" seem totally unnecessary and a waste of police time and public money.

Ashley Ghoorbin
Ashley Ghoorbin2 years ago

The police are just thugs in uniform.

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola2 years ago

Thank you for this very interesting article.

Manuela C.
Manuela C2 years ago

Shameful! what's wrong with US police???

Paulinha Russell
Paulinha Russell2 years ago

Thank you

Janis K.
Janis K2 years ago

Cameras now!

Ricky T.
Ricky T2 years ago

Makes you wonder the type of training these bullies must have, treat citizens with compassionate training, not like soldiers in a war-zone!