Police accused of excessive force after arrests at SFSU

May 17, 2013 6:18:04 PM PDT
San Francisco State University students are accusing San Francisco police of excessive force in some arrests on campus Thursday night. Police thought that they were dealing with trespassers, but students say they were really their friends that were invited there.

SF State students say a YouTube video shows what happened when SFPD tried to arrest trespassing suspects inside Mary Ward Hall on campus.

But Tiffany, a freshman at the school, says she invited her friends into the dorm not knowing there was a sign-in policy.

"I was not aware that you had to sign in guests during the day because nobody follows that policy at all, I didn't even know that," she said. "I asked the RA's, they're supposed to know all the rules, and they didn't even know that. But apparently that is in the policy, so I got in trouble for that."

Five of the six arrests were of homeless people who police had removed from a commercial building near SFSU on Wednesday.

On Friday afternoon, students and the evicted squatters held a rally, saying SFPD had followed them, targeted them, and used excessive force in the arrests.

Natasha shot the YouTube video.

"Ninety pound girls were choked out," Natasha said. "They took batons out, they took flashlights out, they were bashing my friend in the ribs with a flashlight, repeating 'stop resisting,' but he was already subdued on the ground."

The SFPD says they were just back-up for campus police, and the students are probably confusing the agencies because their uniforms are so similar.

Charges against the suspects include resisting arrest and trespassing. Students say some are in jail and some in the hospital.

One officer was injured.

Tiffany faces possible expulsion for, among other things, violating the no pet policy.

"The things that I violated were, I had a puppy in my room, uh, I didn't check in my guests, uh, one of them pulled the fire alarm when the police were beating them up because nobody was doing anything," Tiffany said.


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