SAN FRANCISO (CBS SF) — A video showing several San Francisco police officer pinning down a man with a prosthetic leg is trending on social media and raising questions about use of excessive force.
On the video, is not clear what crime the man committed. By the time the camera is rolling, five officers already have the man on the ground. His pants are down, and he repeatedly asks for his crutches, saying, “I use these to walk.” One officer kneels on his prosthetic leg. The man appears to be in distress.
According to the San Francisco Police Department, officers didn’t take the man down, he fell. The officers responded after a concerned 911 call.
“He was waving sticks around,” said Officer Grace Gatpandan. “The 911 caller was concerned for the person’s safety as well as the safety of others.”
The incident happened August 4, just outside the headquarters of Twitter near Market Street.
“He ran into traffic and said he did not care whether or hot he was going to be hit by a car,” said Gatpandan. “Based on his actions we determined the subject was under an altered mental state and thought it would be best to detain him.”
Chaédria LaBouvier, the woman who shot the footage, edited and posted the it on YouTube. It has gotten thousands of views.
LaBouvier can be overheard repeatedly questioning and condemning the officers’ actions on camera. For the most part, they ignore her.
“You don’t have enough respect for this human being to pull his pants up? This is ridiculous.” says La Bouvier on the video. Other bystanders audibly concur. “You are supposed to protect and serve the community… This is wrong.”
At one point an officer tells her, along with the rest of the people who have gathered, to “step back.”
At about 10 minutes into the footage, the police pull up the man’s pants. More officers arrive at the scene — fourteen policemen to detain one man.
Police said the extra officers were called in to keep the crowds back.
“You can see in the video that he does attempt to bite the officers and kick officers, both of which are crimes,” said Gatpandan. “However, we thought it would be best to take him to the hospital instead of arresting him for a crime.”
The video ends when more police arrive with a large blue SFPD wheelchair.
SFPD told KPIX 5 they are still investigating the incident and have asked La Bouvier for the full video, as well as any other video from witnesses.
WATCH YouTube Video:
CBSSF.com writer, producer Jan Mabry is also executive producer and host of The Bronze Report. She lives in Northern California. Follow her on Twitter @janmabr.