San Francisco Police Department Statement on the Social Media Post of the Jan. 25, 2020 Atoll Circle Arrest 20-057

On May 29, 2020, the San Francisco Police Department became aware of a short video clip posted on social media that recorded a portion of a Jan. 25, 2020 arrest of a man by SFPD officers on Atoll Circle. 

The video on Instagram and Facebook depicts four officers restraining an individual who was being taken into custody for making criminal threats against his neighbor and for resisting a peace officer. Several comments on the social media post note the similarity of a female SFPD officer’s hold on the arrestee to a restraint used by Minneapolis Police officers that resulted in the in-custody death of Mr. George Floyd on Monday, May 25, 2020.  

Upon learning of the social media post, San Francisco Police Chief William Scott ordered an administrative review of the incident including the social media video and associated body-worn camera (BWC) video. The SFPD Internal Affairs Division is conducting that investigation. SFPD’s Training Division is also conducting a review of prone handcuffing techniques to determine if any changes or updates to training are warranted.   

Chief Scott also invited the San Francisco Department of Police Accountability to independently investigate the arrest recorded in the publicly posted video, and SFPD has begun the process of compiling BWC video from the incident to share with DPA investigators and also to release publicly.  

Some members of the public commenting on the social media post have incorrectly identified the female officer seen in the video. Their misidentification of the officer resulted in photos of an uninvolved officer being posted to social media together with threats being made against that officer. SFPD’s Special Investigations Division has also opened an investigation into threats that emerge from this incident against SFPD officers. 

The individual arrested on the Jan. 25, 2020 video was later booked into the San Francisco County Jail on charges of Criminal Threats (felony/422 PC) and Resisting a Peace Officer in the Performance of Their Duties (misdemeanor/148(a)(1) PC). Those charges were later reviewed and charged by the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. 

SFPD is committed to conducting a thorough review of the incident and cooperating fully with the independent and impartial investigation by the San Francisco Department of Police Accountability.  

Transparency: BWC and Social Media Footage 

Consistent with SFPD’s goal of maximizing accountability and transparency, Chief Scott also directed SFPD’s Media Relations Unit to publicly release video from five officers’ body-worn cameras from the scene. SFPD additionally prepared a video that time-synchronizes BWC footage from four officers — each providing a different perspective of the Jan. 25 arrest — that is also synchronized to the video posted on social media.  

Links to the relevant videos may be found on SFPD’s website at https://www.sanfranciscopolice.org/news.  

Contact SFPD: Anyone wishing to report information or evidence regarding this incident to the SFPD may call the SFPD tip line at 1 (415) 575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD. You may remain anonymous.  

Contact DPA: Individuals may also contact the San Francisco Department of Police Accountability at (415) 241-7711 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. DPA complaints may be filed online at https://sfgov.org/dpa/

Body-Worn Camera (BWC) Footage Links 

Body-Worn Camera Synced with Cell Phone Video Click Here

Officer #1 BWC Footage Click Here

Officer #2 BWC Footage Click Here

Officer #3 BWC Footage Click Here   

Officer #4 BWC Footage Click Here

Officer #5 BWC Footage Click Here

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