Fights broke out Friday between police and residents of the Valencia Gardens housing complex near 15th Street after undercover officers initially, allegedly roughed up an unarmed 21-year-old man who was bicycling home after watching the Batkid festivities. A friend of the man wrote in with his side of the story (also covered in Uptown Almanac), and at least one cameraphone video has surfaced showing the tense aftermath in which other residents clashed with police and were taken into custody, at least one of them pretty well bloodied.
Though we only have the one second-hand account at this point from photographer Travis Jensen, he says that his friend D'Paris Williams, a.k.a. "DJ," was bicycling home with a cupcake and juice in his pocket from the corner store when some undercover officers approached him in a car and said something about having his bicycle on the sidewalk. They then got out of the car as he was approaching his home, "grab[bed] DJ from behind as he was entering the home and beat him for no apparent reason."
Says Jansen, "Nobody has spoken to DJ since the incident occurred as he was immediately taken to S.F. General Hospital for treatment, and then to the 850 Bryant police station. So far, it appears no charges have been made against DJ either."
But clearly neighbors were upset by what they witnessed, and a melee then ensued involving at least three other residents who came to Williams' aid, a dozen or more onlookers, and multiple cops and squad cars. One witness recorded the video below, which does not include footage of Williams and was apparently taken after Williams' arrest, though you do see one officer carting away a bicycle which may have been his. In the video, you can see multiple officers detaining and/or beating two different suspects prone on the sidewalk, and at the 2:45 mark you can see one man being taken into custody with a bloodied face.
Three others were arrested after Williams, and the guy with the bloodied face was later released. "As for the others arrested," Jensen tells us, "It's still unclear what charges they face." Also, there is supposedly housing authority surveillance footage of the entire incident which has not yet been released.
According to Jensen, Williams was an employed student at City College and no one understands why he'd be arrested for a bicycle violation.
We're awaiting an official statement from police on the incident, though apparently police have already said they were only using reasonable force.