SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A San Francisco police officer was captured on two separate videos trying to shove a paralyzed, wheelchair-bound man off a curb face first into the street as other officers looked on, until a relative intervened to stop it.
The incident happened Sunday around 4 p.m. near the intersection of Sunnydale Avenue and Hahn Street, in the city’s Visitacion Valley neighborhood.
The man in the wheelchair had just confronted police officers at a street corner as they were detaining a relative and another man, when an officer began attempting to shove the wheelchair-bound man, identified in social media posts as DeVaughn Frierson, off the curb.
In the video uploaded to Facebook by user name ‘Sqaully Dee,’ Frierson remains in his chair only because he appears to be strapped in. Moments later, another man is seen running up to Frierson to prevent the officer from continuing his actions.
The man who ran up to the scene also shot a video of the incident and was identified by a post on YouTube account ‘The Attorney Depot’ as Edwardo Delacruz. The YouTube post said Delacruz is the cousin of two of the men seen in that video.
Delacruz told anti-police brutality blog The Free Thought Project that one of the men seen in the video sitting on the ground and Frierson are his cousins. Delacruz said Frierson is paralyzed from the neck down after an accident two years ago and can partially use one arm to control the wheelchair.
Delacruz told The Free Thought Project his cousins were joking around with a third man and one of them had playfully asked police to arrest another for messing around. He identified the officer who tried to push Frierson off the curb as Officer Carrasco of the San Francisco Police Department.
“This incident is being investigated by the SFPD Internal Affairs Division and the Office of Citizen Complaints,” said San Francisco Police spokeswoman Officer Grace Gatpandan in a statement to KPIX 5. “Because this is an employee investigation, we cannot discuss the details of this case.”
According to Gatpandan, officers were patrolling in the area, when they noticed a couple people allegedly engaged in an argument.
The officers contacted them and cited three people for possession of open containers of alcohol and one person for obstructing an officer, Gatpandan said.
TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.