SAN DIEGO: Police Brutalize Unarmed Black Man in Gentrified Area

Photo: Scene of police brutalizing man at traffic stop last week in North Park, San Diego.

By Edith Flanagan

Last week in the North Park neighborhood of San Diego, California 16 police officers pulled firearms on an unarmed Black man at a traffic stop at the intersection of Texas St. and Howard Ave.

Livestream video of the incident shows officers aiming their weapons at the man as he pleads for his life, stating repeatedly that he was not armed. A female officer can be seen pulling a shotgun from the back of her car, fully preparing to end the man’s life.

Once the man was on the ground, one officer can be seen repeatedly punching the man while the other police press their knees into his limbs. Police parked their cars in front of people filming in order to obscure their view.

Knowing that they were being recorded, the police walked up to people who were recording the brutality, attempting to intimidate them with police dogs and hands on their pistols.

For years, North Park has been subjected to a wave of gentrification, with expensive restaurants and coffee shops that cater to the petit-bourgeois going up around the neighborhood. These gentrifiers call on the police to aid in the redevelopment of the area, proactively targeting those perceived to not belong in the now-affluent neighborhood, especially oppressed nations people.

Police in the US routinely terrorize Black people as one way of carrying out the oppression of the Black nation. Around the same time of this incident on the other side of the country, police brutality against Black youth on the subways led to mass protests in New York City.

The man was taken into custody and his car was fully searched, but no weapons were found according to one of the people who filmed the incident. Finding a weapon for the police was secondary to the terror they incited by brutalizing this man for a simple traffic stop.