Protesters unite by 'dancing in the street' after video of black man handcuffed by Alameda police

ALAMEDA, Calif. (KGO) -- Dozens of protesters gathered to dance in front of the Alameda Police Department Friday in honor of Mali Watkins who was pinned to the ground by five police officers in late May.

ABC7 broke the story last week after cell phone video surfaced showed Watkins handcuffed by officers after reports he was 'dancing in the street.'

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The organizers hoped for a peaceful protest that demanded real police reform.

"I just don't understand this phenomenon of people calling on a black person for whatever reason or another... enough is enough," said Amos White, who works with a special grassroots project of the ACLU, People Power.

The protest focused on two messages: defunding the police and restorative justice.

"Defunding the police means redirecting funds, not just shutting it all down," White said. "We need to take a hard look at where our money is going."

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The call for action stems from body camera footage released last week showing Watkins detained by officers.

"Upon seeing the video, it was horrendous, and it really hurt," he said. "Being a black man, knowing this happens here right where we live."

But, if you ask Watkins - he felt differently.

"I'm not angry at all, I wasn't angry then, and I'm not angry now," he said.

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Watkins said he wants to take all anger and refocus it on reform.

"I want to be clear, I'm not upset," Watkins said. "There is no aggression, there is none of that, its genuine concern for all of us and to make sure everyone is safe going forward."
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