One-legged black man pinned to the ground and handcuffed by US police officers

The footage was captured by a passing journalist in the city's financial district

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The Independent US

Video footage has emerged of five police officers pinning a one-legged black man to the ground and handcuffing him.

The incident, which has sparked some anger online, was recorded by Chaedria LaBouvier and saw five officers straddling and handcuffing the man despite his visible prosthetic leg.

At one point in the 11-minute clip officers are seen pinning down his head and sitting on the leg.

The man can be heard asking to let go.

His trousers also fall down at one point only to be pulled up by an officer a few minutes later.

The footage was recorded on 4 August in the financial district of San Francisco, according Ms LaBouvier - a journalist who is researching police brutality.

It only begins half through the incident.

In a Medium post, she wrote that the police had been called to the scene after reports of someone “waving sticks around”- the man was using crutches.  

She said the police tried repeated to take the crutches off despite the man saying: “These are my crutches. I use these to walk.”

Several other officers then formed a “blue wall” around the struggle to block filming by witnesses.

Ms LaBouvier is heard saying in the video: “This is how you treat citizens? You're having him partially nude while you pin him down on his prosthetic leg?

"You don't protect and serve this community if that's policing to you."


In her Medium post she wrote: “We’ve normalized and habitualized the kind of policing in San Francisco and the rest of America that brutalizes the most vulnerable people, which strips them of their human dignity, the agency to their bodies — to walk with crutches when physically disabled, to have this body unviolated — when in actuality, they are whom the police are especially supposed to be protecting.”

The post has provoked mixed reactions online with some calling it another example of police brutality and others saying the police's actions were entirely appropriate:

The captain of the local police precinct, Teresa Ewins said they were called by a concerned member of the public about a man who seemed mentally unstable and was waving sticks in the air.

When officers arrived and told him to put the sticks down he refused and raised the "sticks above his head in a threatening manner" before attempting to step into oncoming traffic.

She said: "Due to his state of mind at the time, officer’s believed he was in an Altered Mental State and fit the criteria for a Mental Health Detention. They determined he was a danger to himself and others.

"As officer’s attempted to place the subject into handcuffs he pulled his arms away. As he was resisting officer’s the subject fell forward. The officers still having their hands on him allowed his body weight to take him to the ground while attempting to control him."

Captain Ewins also said the man tried to bite officers as they restrained him and was taken to hospital under a mental health detainment order.