Journalist, Chaédria LaBouvier, was on her way to Medium‘s headquarters in San Francisco to discuss a project on police brutality when she witnessed that very thing.
The incident occurred outside, near the Twitter building on Market Street, between 8th and 9th Streets, during the lunch hour — undoubtedly one of the busiest streets in San Francisco at certainly the busiest time of day. Apparently, someone called police because someone was “waving sticks around,” which turned out to be the man’s crutches.
Initially, four officers arrive and immediately take the man down to the ground. Even as the woman filming this is pointing out that they are crushing his prosthetic leg, and then his other leg, they continue to punish the handicapped, handcuffed man. After ten minutes of her pleading with them to at least pull his pants up, they finally do so. But only after about ten more police officers arrive on the scene to try and block the onlookers’ view of police brutality taking place in broad daylight.
The crime the man committed? Walking with crutches.
Chaédria LaBouvier should be commended for being calm in a tense situation and stating clearly that these police officers were not protecting and serving, but harassing, a handicapped person. She states in her essay:
These incidents are so quotidian, so mundane, that they do not merit a mention in even passing on the local news. Which is to say, this is everyday harassment. Which is to say, that we’ve normalized and habitualized the kind of policing in San Francisco and the rest of America that brutalizes the most vulnerable people, which strips them of their human dignity, the agency to their bodies — to walk with crutches when physically disabled, to have this body unviolated — when in actuality, they are whom the police are especially supposed to be protecting.
What we’re seeing here is not serving the community. It’s shameful and needs to stop immediately. Read her full essay for more information and suggestions on how we can be part of the change we seek.
WATCH the police brutality here:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAYGizJ4vEg?feature=player_detailpage]
Featured image via YouTube video screen capture