SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (KGO) -- An emotional San Rafael city council meeting continued late into Tuesday night, with a large crowd there to protest a brutal takedown of a gardener who had an open beer.
This comes five days after the ABC7 I-Team's Dan Noyes obtained the body cam videos of that incident, in which the man suffered a broken nose and concussion.
The San Rafael City Council saw the largest audience since the pandemic began -- standing room only, people with signs in hand and plastered on the wall, urging "Justice for Mateo."
There were tears, with one woman telling the council, "Our community needs respect."
There was anger from a young man: "Abused by police officers? Handcuffed unjust? I'm not going to stand for this anymore."
Brenda Camarena said, "And I hope you understand the level of damage that has happened and that continues to happen."
They came because of the I-Team report from five days ago, to protest the treatment of the gardener we called Mateo July 27 in the Canal District. He admitted to drinking beer there on the sidewalk with his friends after a long day of work, and explained in Spanish and English that he had to stand to retrieve his ID. But Officers Brandon Nail and Daizy Mazariegos moved quickly.
The crowd was especially upset with the smiles of both officers after, Officer Nail telling colleagues that Mateo "had a bad day."
Mayor Kate Colin announced this evening they've hired an outside, independent investigator to review the conduct of the officers and their supervisors that day: "We will also continue to work with our community partners to determine how we start building trust with each other."
And after days of refusing our requests for an interview, the I-Team's Dan Noyes finally confronted Police Chief David Spiller.
Dan Noyes: "Hey chief, I'm Dan Noyes from Channel 7, what do you say to the people of San Rafael about what happened?"
San Rafael Police Chief David Spiller: "We're really concerned about this incident obviously as we have shared and our spokesman has shared. We're doing a full and comprehensive investigation and our people are going to be held accountable. You can be sure."
The council listened to the complaints late into the night, promising not to move onto other business until everyone was heard.
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