D’Paris “D.J.” Williams, the college student who was stopped, and allegedly beaten by three San Francisco Police Department Officers, for riding his bike on the sidewalk in Valencia Gardens, is pressing charges against the city. Williams is seeking damages for excessive force, assault and battery, and civil rights violations among other charges.
In a video of the incident from November 2013, four plainclothes officers can be seen dragging Williams away from his home with a bloody and beaten face. According to Courthouse News and Uptown Almanac, and confirmed by public records, the officers listed in the suit are Officers Gregory Skaug, Milen Banegas and Theodore Polovina. Here’s more from Courthouse News:
He says he apologized for riding his bike on the sidewalk, but said the officers “had no right to ask him to come outside of his house.”
But they reached inside, dragged him out, punched him in the face and in the back of the neck more than 5 times, causing him to lost consciousness. When he awoke, he says, they were choking him.
Following the violence, which occurred in the middle of the afternoon, a fight with police officers broke out, and three bystanders who got involved were booked on various charges. Williams himself was also arrested for charges of resisting arrest, assaulting an officer, and others—all of which were eventually dropped by the District Attorney’s Office.
San Francisco Police Department spokesperson Gordon Shyy explained to Mission Local in 2013, that the plainclothes officers were part of the Violence Reduction Team and that “the Valencia Gardens area is a high-crime area…part of their routine patrol function is to go through that area.”
Regarding the officers’ treatment of Williams, Shyy said that they tried to cite the young man for the traffic violation and he became “resistant and combative.”
When we talked to Williams’ sister Christina in 2013 she described the incident as such: “They just yanked my brother and dragged him out of the house and slammed him on the ground.”
Williams is being represented by the Law Offices of John Burris, the same firm representing the family of Alex Nieto.
Video of Williams’ arrest can be seen below. Warning: contains some graphic content.
This is a developing story, we’ll update it with more information as warranted.