Police Brutality in Our Own Backyard

By Rose Hanson

How a Traffic Stop Turned Into a Bloody Attack

Cases of physical police brutality have swept the nation with occurrences in Chicago, New York, and now San Francisco. In early January, Donovan Reid, a student at BCC, was the victim of police abuse. While delivering food via bicycle in San Francisco, for his employer, Postmates, Reid was cut off by an SFPD cruiser pulling him over for allegedly texting. When confronted, Reid informed the officer he was using his cellphone for navigation.

Throughout the incident, Reid continued to comply with the officers’ requests, and he filmed the encounter on his cellphone. It wasn’t until the officer told him to drop his phone that things turned violent.

Reid states that after he was asked to put down his phone, the officer grabbed his shirt.

“The officer continued to punch me in my stomach. He reached for his mace and impaired my vision and then began grabbing me by my neck and slamming me to the ground, placing his knee on my back. Later, more officers came and began holding my legs in the air and beating my legs,” states Reid on his webpage, created to raise money in order to cover his medical expenses.

When the BCC Voice contacted the SFPD for comment, we were informed that no other information is available, even though the case happened almost two months ago, and there is an ongoing investigation by the Internal Affairs Unit. During BCC Voice inquiries, many of the SFPD staff didn’t seem to know who Donovan Reid was. The officers involved have not been terminated.

“Excessive force” is, by definition, unnecessary. “[There was] no need for that to happen,” states Reid. “Not to me. Not to anybody.”

With the help of teachers and BCC students spreading the word about this incident, Reid has been able to cover some medical expenses as well as a few counseling sessions. In addition, many supporters of Reid spread kind words and prayers, hoping for justice and his well being online.

If students want to learn more about the story, donate to the cause, or watch the video Reid filmed during the incident go to: rally.org/sfpedal.

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