Homeless Man with Prosthetic Leg Brutalized by San Francisco Police

Aug 19, 2015

copsSF foto Bobbie JohnsonPolice brutality against black men has become so pervasive in the US that practically the entire adult population of the country, and of a large part of the world, is aware of what is happening. You might think that every domestic police force is taking measures to correct the situation. You would be wrong, however.

The latest incident comes from San Francisco, a city on the way to total gentrification, where the demand for housing from well-paid Silicon Valley newbies has priced the market beyond the reach of anyone without a high income.

We don’t know exactly how it all began, but a bystander said that the police were called to investigate a man who was “waving sticks”: a potential danger that could have required special attention because the man involved is black. Very clear video taken by an eyewitness shows what happens next.

Up to five officers at one point pile up on the man to immobilize him. The man –who has not been identified so far– is face down on the walkway and handcuffed behind his back. He is in no position to do much but try to get some air, while one officer, focusing on the head, makes sure that it is not raised.

The man tells the officers that the sticks are his crutches. Indeed, the scuffle reveals that the man has a prosthetic leg, which, gruesomely, is now spun backwards 180 degrees.

The officers possibly fear that the man might attack them with that dysfunctional leg, because one of them pins down both of the man’s legs, kneeling directly on the prosthetic device. Somehow, the man’s pants are pulled down so that his backside is exposed. Not only does this make it very hard for the man to even sit up, it adds to the indignity of the mistreatment.

As some bystanders begin to grumble about what they see, the police call for reinforcements, who promptly appear. They cannot possibly be there to restrain a supposedly wild man: the man is already trussed up and neutralized. They are there for self-protection from the people whom they are supposed to be protecting, although the video of the event gives no hint that anything dangerous –except to the man– is about to happen in the prosperous neighborhood. The new officers take up positions to block the view of what the first group of officers is doing. They surround the action in a circle. The officers, by the way, look strong and physically powerful (props to the SFPD). They are all armed, of course.

By that time, there are up to 14 officers pushing the handcuffed, bewildered, and surely embarrassed man into the walkway, or puffing up their chests while facing the bystanders. It probably has taken seven patrol cars to get them all there.

Eventually, the man is allowed to sit up, still handcuffed. Later on he is released. No charges are filed. The police have defended the public enough. The man, thankfully, has not been shot dead. Not this time.

If such a thing took place in Cuba, the US media would howl, the Congress would demand immediate punishment, and the Secretary of State would pontificate about human rights, police reform, and minority rights. They should be more concerned about the continuing police war in the US against black men, especially those who are poor, homeless, or mentally ill.

Source: La Alborada