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A San Francisco police officer has been caught on video posted online this week as he attempts to tip a quadriplegic man in a wheelchair from his seat and into the street as other officers watch.
Edwardo Delacruz, a witness who uploaded video of the incident to his Facebook page on Sunday, told the Free Thought Project he is the cousin of Devaughn Frierson, the man in the wheelchair. Frierson is a quadriplegic who was paralyzed from the neck down in an accident two years ago, he said. He has limited movement in one arm, which allows him to control the chair, Delacruz said, adding that the officer seen in the video knew this.
Frierson was allegedly performing wheelies and tricks on the sidewalk when another cousin, also seen in the video, jokingly called the police over to arrest them for messing around, Delacruz said.
The video uploaded to Facebook shows Frierson reversing the chair shortly before the officer wheels him toward the curb and tries to dump him out of the chair onto the street. The attempts were unsuccessful, as Frierson was strapped in.
"He fucking ran my foot over," the officer can be heard about a minute and a half into the clip, after onlookers intervene. "You don't run my foot over."
"Fuck your foot, you don't throw a handicapped person like that," someone replied.
Delacruz said that no arrests took place.
"No one was arrested because no one committed a crime, they just didn't like seeing the fellas joking and playing so they came and bullied everyone and didn't know they were being filmed," he said.
A San Francisco Police Department spokeswoman told VICE News Wednesday the incident is being investigated separately by the department's internal affairs division and by the office of citizen complaints.
Photo via Flickr