VIDEO UPDATE: SFPD chief speaks after officers in tactical gear arrest, cite 100+ people at skateboarding event
SFPD chief speaks after 100+ arrested, cited at skateboarding event
"That level of use of force is absolutely unacceptable in San Francisco. In a public park in a gathering of teenagers," said Jeffrey Kwong, president of the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club.
Police officers in riot gear moved in to disperse a crowd of hundreds of skateboarders who took over Dolores Street- spraying down Muni Metro streetcars and a Muni bus with graffiti.
The Dolores Hill Bomb event has been held on and off for years, with the last one taking place in 2020.
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"I hereby declare this to be an unlawful assembly in the name of the people of the state of California and all those assembled on Dolores Street between 18th and 19th and in Dolores Park to immediately disperse, which means to break up the assembly," an officer can be heard saying through a loudspeaker from a police car.
"For a situation to escalate with teenagers getting upset with police, it means police were really close in order for that situation to begin to escalate," said Kevin Ortiz, co-president of San Francisco Latinx Democratic Club. "If they had been in the background that would have been a whole different story."
"I work closely with youth ages 12-to-17 and I was horrified when I woke up this morning hearing that there were about 81 youth under the age of 18 that were detained yesterday," said San Francisco resident Alondra Esquivel.
SFPD arrested 32 adults and cited 81 juveniles.
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Chief Bill Scott wrote in a statement: "This dangerous and unlawful behavior put members of the public and our officers at risk of serious injury or worse. This behavior will not be tolerated in our city and I thank our officers for taking action to hold those accountable who brazenly engaged in reckless and dangerous behavior and violated the law. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries."
SFMTA confirmed none of its staff or passengers were injured and that they de-energizing the overhead lines to avoid what they called "a very dangerous situation."
San Francisco Supervisor Dean Preston took to Twitter Sunday, denouncing the police response, writing: "Armed in riot gear, they issued dispersal orders, threatened tear gas, and then arrested, ziptied and detained many children for hours."
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"I'm at a loss to explain this abuse of power, waste of money, and trauma inflicted on our young people. I'm ashamed of our City leadership for this type of militarization of our streets and attack on our youth. People deserve answers," Preston continued.
Protesters said they want to see an investigation into the incident.
"I think it's an egregious use of force. We condemn it. We want an investigation as to who made the orders in ordering this aggressive police action," Kwong said.
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