WARNING: The video above contains graphic content.
SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (KRON) – An investigation is underway Friday after an arrest turned violent in the North Bay. San Rafael police body camera video showed a man being bloodied by officers over an open container violation.
The police chief said he’s “concerned” about the incident but the man’s attorney said his client deserves justice. The video, which can be seen above, is from the night of July 27.
Residents of San Rafael are concerned about their police department’s use of force. A man is seen being taken down and bloodied by officers over an open container of beer.
“What we saw is a terrible abuse of power,” said attorney Charles Drescow, who is representing the man seen in the video. “It never should’ve happened. Period.”
Drescow said his client was drinking beer with two others in the city’s canal area when they were approached by San Rafael police. Body camera video showed the interaction between officers and the man, which quickly turned violent. Beer bottles are heard rattling and the man’s face is shoved into the ground, breaking his nose.
“The police officers in this case treated my client like he did not matter,” said Drescow. “They were aggressive. They were rude. They escalated the situation.”
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In response to anger and frustration from the community, Police Chief David Spiller said, “I am both personally and professionally concerned about this incident and how it impacts the trust our department has worked hard to build in this community. As the police chief, I take responsibility for all the actions of our department.”
The chief also says the incident is being examined. The man was facing a series of charges — including felony resisting arrest — but after viewing the video, the district attorney dropped the charges. Both of the officers involved in the takedown are on leave.
“What happened is a disgrace, at every level,” Drescow said.