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When a local TV station in Stockton, California was out taping a routine story, their camaras caught officers chasing down and beating an unarmed Black man who seemed set to be yet another victim of police brutality.
But a cellphone recording of the man, Bariki Wiltz, tussling with an officer moments before paint the man in a very different light: A criminal. And a dumb one at that.
While the police caught on tape beating Wiltz, Stockton store owner Cynthia Guerra captured footage on her cellphone of him trying to grab for an officer’s gun during a struggle moments before, NBC News10 reports.
Here is more on the story:
Guerra’s cell phone video shows the suspect reaching behind the officer’s back near his holster.
“My sister screamed that he was getting the gun and there were so many patrons out here and we were nervous for that,” Guerra said.
“I said, ‘He’s trying to get your gun,’ and then the officer reached back then forward and I saw him put his hand on the man’s hand,” Teresa Guerra said.
Wiltz then fled the scene.
News 10 cameras caught the end of the chase as two officers with batons beat Wiltz, attempting to arrest him.
Stockton police officers met Wednesday to review their use of force; the department is conducting an internal investigation.
“Videos don’t lie,” Guerra said. “What it shows is what actually happened, it is what it is.”
Wiltz was sitting on a public bench intoxicated when officers approached him and requested that he leave. That is when the scuffle began and the man grabbed for the cop’s piece. What was Wiltz thinking grabbing a cop’s gun? He is fortunate deadly force was not used against him. Black men have died at the hands of officers for far less brazen offenses.