This was originally exclusive story, brought to you first by ABC7 News on Friday.
"I do this every day... please let me go," said Mali Watkins, a 44-year-old martial artist. "I was just dancing."
It was May 23, before 9 a.m. on a Saturday.
In our exclusive interview, Watkins told ABC7 he was handcuffed and pushed around by police for an hour. Here's a clip of the body camera footage prior to police handcuffing Watkins.
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"Sir, listen...listen...let me go!" Watkins said, minutes before officers cuffed him.
According to the police report, Watkins was reported for "dancing in the street."
JUST IN: Body camera footage shows an unarmed black man handcuffed by @AlamedaPD for 1 hr after reports he was "dancing in the street."— StephanieABC7 (@StephanieABC7) June 6, 2020
This happened just before 9AM Saturday May 23. Two days before the death of #GeorgeFloyd.#abc7now pic.twitter.com/7FTsh4B63E
Neighbors who witnessed the arrest pleaded for police to release him.
"Hey... he's from around here, he exercises every day, we know his routine, he didn't do anything wrong," said Robert Davidson, a neighbor.
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The Alameda police chief has requested an outside investigation into the officers' actions.
A full clip of the video released to the ABC7 I-Team is posted in the video player at the top of this page.
First, you see two officers handcuffing Watkins.
Minutes later, five officers surround him pinning him face first to the ground.
"Why you comin on me... why you comin on me... now you're on me," said Watkins.
EXCLUSIVE: We talked to Mali Watkins.— StephanieABC7 (@StephanieABC7) June 6, 2020
He says: "I was just doing my normal workout..."
Police then cited Watkins for resisting arrest -- despite neighbors pleading to police he did nothing wrong. pic.twitter.com/4zdwixbgYB
Friends teared up as they described what happened.
"I saw him being abused... what else can I say," said a neighbor named Nolan.
According to police, Watkins was later cited for resisting arrest.
"We were all like, why is this happening?" said Watkins.
The footage that first surface on social media has prompted an outside investigation of the Alameda police officers facilitating Watkins' arrest.
Alameda City Manager Eric Levitt released the following statement Tuesday:
"Based on an initial review, a full outside investigation is being requested by the Police Chief. I concur with his decision fully. While it has not been determined at this time whether it violated policy upon initial review, it does not represent my values that the Police Department needs to respect and serve our community with trust and without bias."
Levitt later spoke to ABC7 about the video released on social media.
"I want to make sure everyone, regardless of color is treated equally," Levitt told ABC7 in a later interview.
The footage has prompted an outside investigation into how the @AlamedaPD officers handled the call on Watkins.— StephanieABC7 (@StephanieABC7) June 6, 2020
Watkins was later cited for resisting arrest and released.
ABC7's Stephanie Sierra asked Levitt if any of the five officers shown handling this arrest will face further penalty. We were told "it's still unclear" as the outside investigation is still pending.
The ABC7 I-Team has requested the complaint history of each of the five officers shown in the video handling this arrest. Stay posted for further updates.
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