San Jose police release body cam videos from protests
Protesters clashed with San Jose police during the third day of protests Sunday over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man. Photo by Luke Johnson.

    After pressure from the San Jose City Council, the city’s police department late Friday, released body-worn camera footage of recent protests over the police killing of George Floyd.

    “Body-worn camera video is an essential component in investigations and in maintaining the public trust,” Police Chief Eddie Garcia said in a statement. “Coming up with a process of releasing videos of significant public interest is the right thing to do and we are eager to have that in place soon. Releasing these three videos is a positive step in that direction.”

    The body cam footage shows three different incidents — two on May 29 and another on May 31 — where police encounters with residents led to injury or suspected injury. One video on May 29 shows an officer using “offensive and unacceptable” language, according to the police department website.

    Mayor Sam Liccardo, Vice Mayor Chappie Jones, Councilmembers Raul Peralez, Lan Diep and  Magdalena Carrasco urged the police department to release any body cam videos showing use of tear gas, rubber bullets, batons or physical contact in a June memo by and again in another Aug. 26 memo.

    The first video shows a traffic collision between an officer and a resident suspected of looting during a protest May 31. The suspect was injured and taken to the hospital in custody, but refused medical care.

    A screenshot from a May 31 body cam video.

    The second video from May 29 shows officers trying to control a crowd of protestors near Highway 101 and Alum Rock Avenue. An officer used a baton to push a protestor back who was trying to confront the officer. After the protester swung at the officer, they were wrestled to the ground and handcuffed. The protestor was sent to the hospital to be treated for injuries received during the encounter.

    A screenshot from a recently released body cam video showing an officer pointing a baton at protestors who were asked to disperse on May 29.

    The third video from the same day shows an officer using foul language against a suspect who threw a bottle at an officer. A foam baton round was fired at the suspect before they were arrested. It is unclear as to whether they were injured as a result.

    “We appreciate the police department’s response to the direction of our memorandum and hope that the process we have laid out will continue to make future body-worn camera footage releases more immediate and transparent to the public,” Liccardo said in a statement.

    Last month, the police department compiled other videos showing police use of force and posted them on YouTube.

    The videos can be found on the San Jose Police Department website.

    Contact Carly Wipf at [email protected] or follow @CarlyChristineW on Twitter.

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