New claim filed against Richmond police by professional cowboy arrested while filming incident

Melanie Woodrow Image
Thursday, May 30, 2024
New claim filed against Richmond police by professional cowboy
A new claim was filed against the Richmond Police Department by a professional cowboy who was arrested for filming an incident on May 5.

RICHMOND, Calif. (KGO) -- The Richmond Police Department is facing a new claim, following the arrest of a man who was filming police making a different arrest.

Richmond police had stopped a vehicle they say had been involved in a shooting outside Joe's Market on Macdonald Avenue May 5 around 10 p.m. As they were taking people out of that vehicle into custody, Kwesi Guss started videotaping. His attorney says he was exercising his rights to film the police. Richmond police say he was obstructing a police officer.

In the video of the May 5 police stop, Richmond Police Sgt. Alexander Caine turns his attention to Guss filming the interaction from nearby, shouting expletives as he tells Guss to get out of the way.

Guss responds with expletives telling Caine to shut up when Sgt. Caine began pushing him according to a complaint filed.

MORE: Bay Area man sues Pittsburg PD over civil rights violation in 2022 mental health crisis incident

The complaint says another bystander intervened as a second police officer, Nicholas Remick, continued the assault on Guss.

"I feel like being racist because a young, Black man with a camera, you know, and you got a white man with an attitude and a badge," Guss said.

"They essentially abused him in ways that were woefully unjustified. This was a person who was exercising his constitutional rights," said Attorney John Burris.

The complaint alleges the two handcuffed Guss, kicked him in his ankle, forced him to the ground and placed their knees on his back and ribs. It also alleges that they pushed his face into the ground.

"When I tell you they were doing the most, they were literally just dogging me," Guss said.

According to the complaint Guss was treated at the hospital for a head injury, lower back pain, wrist pain, bruising to his ribs and acute stress disorder. It also says that the encounter has affected his employment as a professional cowboy training horses, riding in rodeos and giving lessons.

MORE: Richmond PD Chief put on paid leave; allegations she broke law to save daughter from sex trafficking

"My wrists, they hurt all the way from Cinqo De Mayo still. Aching every night. I've been having nightmares, bad dreams," Guss said.

The complaint alleges Sgt. Caine had several complaints while serving as a K9 handler and that this incident suggests Richmond PD failed to remediate Caine.

"This was a cop who was out of control," Burris said.

Earlier this month, Richmond Police told ABC7 News Chief Bisa French had launched an investigation into the incident by an outside entity due to the Office of Professional Accountability being short-staffed.

A spokesperson said since it is an open and active investigation, they are not releasing body camera footage at this time.

"While the investigation is being conducted, Sgt. Caine will be temporarily reassigned to an administrative position without contact with the public," Richmond police said in a statement.

Guss says he hasn't been able to work since the incident. We reached out to the city attorney and city manager's office for comment and have not yet heard back.

In a statement, the Richmond Police Officers Association said:

"The Richmond Police Officers Association stands firmly behind Sgt. Caine and the actions taken during this high-risk incident. We urge the public to consider the full context and facts as they emerge, recognizing the complexities and dangers officers face in protecting the residents of Richmond. Guss is responsible for his responsible for his actions."

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here