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Stockton arrest witness claims police brutality

4:44 PM, May 20, 2013   |    comments
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  • Doug Williams

STOCKTON, CA - When Stockton police arrested a man Sunday outside a Carrows restaurant on March Lane, a witness couldn't believe the violence she saw.

"It was brutal.  Absolutely brutal.  I could hear the punching on this man's head.  When he stood u,p he was a bloody mess," said the woman who would only give a first name of Jane.

Stockton spokesman Officer Joe Silva said the department was responding to a report of a disturbance involving a man named Doug Williams.  Silva said Williams dropped a backpack and ran, and because police thought they saw a weapon in the man's waistband, force was used to get him under control.

"The suspect was armed and fled from officers.  He would not comply with orders to show his hands.  The force used was reasonable and justified," said Silva.

Even though the witness wouldn't agree with that statement, Williams said in a jailhouse interview that the violence wasn't that extreme.

"I can't be angry.  It's their risk.  They don't understand what I could have had.  It's not a big deal to me," said Williams.

Anytime force is used in an arrest, the incident is reviewed by Stockton police commanders.  A preliminary hearing shows the force was justified. 

Silva said there have been nine complaints of excessive force by Stockton police since the beginning of 2012.  Twice the department agreed.  Three are still under investigation.   Four times, the officer was cleared.



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