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Video captures fight between officers and residents

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Updated: 11/19/2013 5:21 am
SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) -- Residents at San Francisco's Valencia Gardens housing complex are planning a protest against police brutality after a violent confrontation between officers and residents broke out Friday.

Police say the incident happened Friday afternoon after uncover officers spotted 20-year-old D’Paris Williams riding his bicycle on a sidewalk near the complex.

"This is a violation of San Francisco traffic code," San Francisco Police Department spokesman Officer Gordon Shyy told KTVU. "They identified themselves as police. At least two of the three officers displayed their badges around their necks. The subject continued riding his bicycle and failed to comply with their lawful orders to stop."

Officers chased Williams to his family’s apartment in the complex where the man’s sister says officers dragged him outside.

"One had their knee in his back," said Williams’ sister, Christina. "And the other one was at the top of his head and the lady [police officer] was trying to wrestle to put the handcuffs on him. I started hearing my brother scream out that he couldn't breathe."

The confrontation drew angry neighbors and prompted the officers to call for backup. Cell phone video shows physical confrontations between officers and residents, including one in which one of the undercover officer begins punching a man.

"That officer at the time believed that that suspect was about to attack an officer that was in a vulnerable position," said Shyy. "One suspect attempted to strike an officer with a cane, that subject was taken into custody, another suspect had some outstanding warrants and was taken into custody as well."

Police say one officer was bitten and another sustained an arm injury. Residents say officers used excessive force on the four men who were arrested.

Cell phone video shows one man with a bloody face and another with a large bruise on his face. Residents told KTVU they will rally Wednesday night at 5:30 p.m. outside the nearby Mission District Police station to protest police brutality.

Williams is being held on a $143,500 bond and faces three felonies charges, including resisting arrest and battery on a peace officer, along with a traffic code infraction.

Family and friends said Williams is not a troublemaker. They have not been able to visit him in prison and say they are worried that he is seriously injured.

"I know him, he's employed, he goes to school, he just recently took up an interest in photography," said Williams' friend Travis Jensen, "so this whole incident it just seems very out of character for me with him."

Prosecuters say the case has been discharged pending further investigation.
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