Charges dropped in police-resident brawl at Valencia Gardens

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DJ Williams is arrested by SFPD shortly before the incident sparked a fracas between officers and Valencia Gardens residents.
from YouTube video by Rasta Dave

After spending the weekend and Monday in jail, D’Paris “DJ” Williams’s was released this morning (Tue/19) at 2am. Williams was initially charged with felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon in a widely publicized brawl between police and residents of Valencia Gardens on Friday, but the case was discharged pending further investigation, according to the District Attorney’s office.

It was Friday afternoon, and 20-year-old Williams was having a very good day. As his cousin Dave (last name withheld due to his fear of retaliation) tells it , Williams had just finished applying for a job at Goodwill, and spent the afternoon enjoying the Batkid festivities along with thousands of his fellow San Franciscans. On his way to visit his cousin in the Valencia Gardens housing complex in the Mission, plainclothes officers spotted Williams riding his bicycle on the sidewalk.

That’s when all hell broke loose.

According to the SFPD, the plainclothes officers identified themselves as police, displayed their badges, and when Williams “failed to comply” with their orders to stop, they caught up to him and attempted to detain him. As they struggled to put Williams on the ground, nearby neighbors came out to defend him.

“He became combative, resisted arrest, and multiple subjects came out of that residence and formed a hostile crowd around the officers,” Gordon Shyy, a spokesperson for SFPD, told the Guardian.

In layperson's terms, a brawl broke out.

Someone allegedly threw a cane that nearly hit an officer. An officer let loose haymaker punches towards a backpedaling neighbor, as a crowd shouted them down. By the end, Williams and three of his cousins’ neighbors were bloodied and bruised as they were taken into custody.  

Williams was charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon, which Shyy said was for biting an officer. Shyy maintains that the officers pulled him aside for a traffic infraction of riding a bicycle on a sidewalk, and the officers decided to detain Williams because he ignored their calls to stop and continued toward the residence.

But just why they decided to pull Williams over is questionable.

The officers were undercover, plainclothes narcotics and gun seizure agents called the “Violence Reduction Team,” Shyy said. Why such specialized officers would leave their vehicle only to make a traffic citation is still unclear, and the SFPD declined to answer that question.

“What were these guys doing stopping DJ for a traffic violation?” Jensen said, incredulous, to the Guardian.

When asked how the officers justified their use of force, Shyy read directly from the police report: “Williams continued to resist by pushing his upper body against the sidewalk and tried to get to his feet. Williams was unhandcuffed and unsearched at this point. From my knowledge and experience I know this is a high crime area and people in this area often carry weapons. I believed if Williams were able to free himself from us, he may attempt to access a weapon.”

Not long after, Williams’ friend Travis Jensen, a local photographer who was teaching Williams the trade, took to Instagram to sound the horn, describing it as police misconduct.

“This isn’t the DJ I know,” Jensen said of the SFPD’s characterization of how Williams reacted. None of the men involved have criminal records, as far as Jensen knows, and were just concerned about their friend.

Video of the incident widely circulated around the internet, riding the wave of Batkid publicity. All were taken to SF General Hospital, according to the SFPD.

The cops, having no other information except that Williams was riding his bike on the sidewalk, were afraid Williams would have a weapon. In the end, all he had on him was a Capri Sun and a cupcake.

Now that the case is discharged, does Williams have to wait in fear? Not likely, Public Defender Jeff Adachi told the Guardian.

“The reason you discharge cases is you can’t prove them,” Adachi said. Though this shouldn’t be taken as sacrosanct, he clarified, it’s likely Williams can leave the incident behind him. “If I was advising him I would say the case was discharged, and they’re not going to file. Generally speaking if they could, they would file it now.”

A protest is planned for tonight at 5pm in front of SFPD’s Mission station, which Williams’ cousin Dave said was a “peaceful protest. I’ll make sure of that.”

Comments

Posted by Guest on Nov. 19, 2013 @ 6:08 pm

"Houston police officer accused of raping a handcuffed woman in the back of his patrol car pleaded guilty Tuesday to attempted sexual assault in exchange for 10 years in prison."

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Former-HPD-cop-p...

Posted by Guest on Nov. 20, 2013 @ 2:02 pm

Prove it. Did you read the article? It explicitly states he has no criminal record. What makes you say he's no choirboy? Because he's a 20 year old black man in the projects?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 21, 2013 @ 10:48 am

Reasonable behavior?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 21, 2013 @ 11:07 am

Submit to your illegal humiliation! Resistance is futile.

Apparently resistance to illegal cop interference will lead to a big fat settlement that will finance his education and elevate this young man out of poverty.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 21, 2013 @ 11:34 am

But it's a sick world where biting a cop gets you a payout.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 21, 2013 @ 11:43 am

It's a sick world where cops brutality beat people for riding on the sidewalk and not hearing the cops through their headphones.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 21, 2013 @ 12:59 pm

anything you say on this matter is tainted.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 21, 2013 @ 1:21 pm

Cops only beat up on people who they feel are weaker than they.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 21, 2013 @ 2:19 pm

Cops use acceptable force to restrain and detain criminals who seek to evade arrest. I'm very comfortable with that but, then again, I have nothing to hide.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 21, 2013 @ 2:25 pm

Real criminals with guns?

Posted by marcos on Nov. 21, 2013 @ 2:36 pm

No need to repeat it 50 times.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 21, 2013 @ 3:49 pm

The think you don't have to hide is the color of your skin. Pigs get
off on beating black people. In LA they high-5'ved each other in a
security video. Police are police because they love to control and they
really like to beat and kill people. They have been caught too many times
on video to deny it. And the worst thing is that they ALWAYS deny it.

Posted by "I have nothing hide" means probably the color of your skin. on Dec. 11, 2013 @ 12:59 am

I might bite a cop too, in this situation. And I've never been arrested or been in any sort of legal trouble. I dont doubt the police were aggressive, and this kid was outraged at the injustice that was happening.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 9:39 pm

his bike on the sidewalk - an illegal act.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 6:32 am

They knew he was not a choirboy because none of the cops' priests had had his way with him?

Posted by marcos on Nov. 21, 2013 @ 11:11 am

You're as reliable as you are predictable.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 21, 2013 @ 3:53 pm

proving the case would be difficult.

But it sends out a really bad message i.e. that if a thug messes with the cops rather than co-operating, he might then cop a pass because of the fog of war.

The streets are less safe tonight

Posted by Guest on Nov. 19, 2013 @ 6:15 pm

"after cameras were introduced in February 2012, public complaints against officers plunged 88% compared with the previous 12 months. Officers' use of force fell by 60%."

Pretty simple.
Citizens are kept safe from violent rogue cops like Officer Fisty in the above video, and if cops are telling the truth about someone resisting arrest then the public will have proof. This saves the good cops from false accusations and weeds out the ones who misuse their authority.

California police use of body cameras cuts violence and complaints
The Guardian, Monday 4 November 2013 12.00 http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/04/california-police-body-came...

Posted by Guest on Nov. 20, 2013 @ 2:22 pm
Posted by Guest on Nov. 20, 2013 @ 2:29 pm

"Suhr said his idea for equipping San Francisco officers with cameras came from his colleagues across the Bay Bridge, the Oakland Police Department."

http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2013/08/27/sfpd-putting-video-cameras-o...

Posted by Guest on Nov. 20, 2013 @ 2:51 pm

for running stop signs in the wiggle did he try and escape and then fight with the cops?

If someone tries to run from the cops they likely think that person is running for a reason, as a kid I learned that sour lesson the hard way.

Valencia Gardens is better than it was 20 years ago, but it is still a haven for vermin.

Posted by Matlock on Nov. 19, 2013 @ 6:24 pm

aggression if they simply and quietly co-operate with the police.

I'm surprised this guy is getting a walk. At least ticket him for riding a bike on the sidewalk.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 19, 2013 @ 6:36 pm

kill him to death. Otherwise the sitty becomes less safer this verry NIGHT!!!!
That damn thug vermin!
Signed,
Conservative Idiot Copsucker

Posted by Guest on Nov. 19, 2013 @ 7:11 pm
Posted by Guest on Nov. 19, 2013 @ 7:22 pm

Riding a bicycle on a sidewalk is not a felony fool, not even in your twisted boot-licking version of reality.

Posted by GlenParkDaddy on Nov. 19, 2013 @ 10:36 pm

You're very wrong on this.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 9:42 pm

How much is this latest police freak out going to cost taxpayers?

Posted by marcos on Nov. 19, 2013 @ 7:06 pm

should when faced with a resisting offender and a braying mob around them.

Personally I think they should have charged the guy with multiple felony counts but, at any rate, he should think himself very lucky and not push his luck.

And don't ride your bike on the sidewalk. It's dangerous, evidently.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 19, 2013 @ 7:13 pm

Pretty simple.
Citizens are kept safe from violent rogue cops like Officer Fisty in the above video, and if cops are telling the truth about someone resisting arrest then the public will have proof. This saves the good cops from false accusations and weeds out the ones who misuse their authority.

theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/04/california-police-body-cameras-cuts-violence-complaints-rialto

Posted by Guest on Nov. 19, 2013 @ 7:17 pm

And that more suspects will think it worthwhile to "mix it up" a little to try and get a walk or a payout.

Seems this is only a problem for the bad guys. No ageing nun was ever the victim of alleged police brutality. There's always a proximate cause.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 19, 2013 @ 7:29 pm

Except that this kid was not a bad guy, the cops appear to have been the felons.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 19, 2013 @ 7:41 pm

fully co-operate with the cops. Not a great start to convince me.

And why that picture of him with his hoodie up?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 19, 2013 @ 7:53 pm

of the "more felons" and "more suspects".
Video will clear honest cops wrongfully accused.
It will also ensure the convictions of dishonest and violent cops, leaving us, the taxpaying public, with more honest reliable public servants, and far less out of control pigs who confuse their own bad impulses and misdeeds with the laws they have sworn to uphold.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 19, 2013 @ 7:41 pm
Posted by Guest on Nov. 19, 2013 @ 7:54 pm

It is the people of San Francisco's call. The cops work for us.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 19, 2013 @ 8:01 pm
Posted by Guest on Nov. 19, 2013 @ 8:14 pm

And we elect the Mayor. But that doesn't mean that we get to micro-manage the cops. That's Greg's fantasy but it's not how the real world works.

Posted by anon on Nov. 19, 2013 @ 8:15 pm

Where does he get off, thinking that public servants work for the public?
Can you imagine!
The people of America "micro-managing" the public employees whose wages are paid with their taxes? Our elected and appointed managers are answerable to us? Ridiculous.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 19, 2013 @ 8:26 pm

That's as much control as you have and need.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 20, 2013 @ 6:51 am

work for the public.
Rules regarding police are enacted all the time through the Board of Supervisors, the Police Commission, and by voters.
Cops are not allowed to make up their own rules and they do not "work for the mayor". Your distortions of reality and yearning for unchecked police power to control the people around you is sad and childish.

Police body cameras and the greater accountability to the public that comes with them are an inevitability.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 20, 2013 @ 12:45 pm

The problem IS that the cops are the only city workers who get to roll their own work plans everyday.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 20, 2013 @ 12:59 pm

ability to use judgment. Micromanaging them won't work.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 20, 2013 @ 1:10 pm

Giving cops discretion to call their own work plans when there are many more crimes being committed than there are police resources to check does not work very well either. The cops need their attentions directed according to politically determined priorities, they cannot be trusted to make these calls on their own, just like every other employee.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 20, 2013 @ 1:18 pm

correspond to what the people tell the Mayor and Supervisors most bothers them.

Cops are focusing on illegal cycling right now because they are hearing a lot of complaints about that.

Ad a plains clothes operation near a major drug dealing location sounds reasonable too

Posted by Guest on Nov. 20, 2013 @ 1:33 pm

Nonsense, the cops are free range chickens, doing whatever they want on any given day so long as they steer clear of danger and live one day closer to collecting their 90% pension.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 20, 2013 @ 1:44 pm

That is where the democratic accountability is.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 20, 2013 @ 1:02 pm

So you admit that the police are above the law, only accountable to the Mayor? Thanks for that confirmation.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 20, 2013 @ 1:12 pm
Posted by Guest on Nov. 20, 2013 @ 1:24 pm

And the mayor is subject to following the law just like the cops are, so the cops work for the Mayor who works for the people, thus, the cops ultimately work for the people. Would that they acted like they worked for all people instead of following their prejudices to the extent that they're costing us more money than the value they're adding.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 20, 2013 @ 1:34 pm

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