Last Sunday in San Francisco, DeVaughn “Bo” Frierson, who is paralyzed from the neck down, saw officers of the SFPD about to arrest his cousins who he says were engaging in horseplay.
Bystanders caught the incident on two separate videos which show Frierson crossing the street to intervene as the officers were handcuffing his cousin. He appears to run his wheelchair into the leg of one officer, after which the officer angrily grabs the chair and makes several attempts to shove it off the curb and into the street.
Frierson was able to stay in his seat because he was belted into the chair. Had he not been strapped in it is obvious that he would have fallen from his seat face first into the street.
Edwardo Delacruz who shot one of the videos and is seen in the second rushing up to help Frierson, uploaded his video to a YouTube account. “The Attorney Depot” told anti police brutality blog The Free Though Project that Frierson and one of the men arrested are his cousins. He said that Frierson has been paralyzed for 2 years following an accident.
Delacruz said that two of his cousins and a third man were joking around when one of them called the police officers over to “arrest” one of the others as a joke. He said that before filming began, the officer had assaulted his cousin and that was when Frierson decided to step in.
Delacruz said that Officer Carrasco was the one who had been so determined to dump Frierson into the street.
Frierson has filed a complaint and is demanding that Carrasco be fired.
“I’m waiting for the police officer, for him to get removed from the force,” Frierson told a reporter from KCBS.
The officer insists that Frierson ran over his foot although Frierson denies his chair ran over anyone’s foot.
“This incident is being investigated by the SFPD Internal Affairs Division and the Office of Citizen Complaints,” spokeswoman for the police department, Officer Grace Gatpandan said in a statement. “Because this is an employee investigation, we cannot discuss the details of this case.”
Gatpandan said that the officers approached the men because they were fighting in the street and that three people were cited for open alcoholic beverage containers and another for obstructing an officer.
Watch the video below from KCBS.
h/t: CBS News