Community members in San Francisco chanted “power to the people” during a protest over an activist’s arrest on Wednesday for what residents said was recording video footage of police mistreating an African-American youth.
Residents were disappointed with the Mission Police Department arresting Ilyich Sato, a rapper also known as Equipto, for filming a Black youth’s encounter with cops, SFGate reported. Sate was released hours after his arrest but more than 50 protesters gathered at the police station while he was detained. The demonstration reportedly involved a tense exchange between community members and officers. Protesters echoed some of the same statements and sentiments as other activists who have come together for protests over police brutality that have happened nationwide.
Sato said he noticed police encountered the unidentified young person on the street while an activist group held a meeting about police brutality. The activist heard a commotion outside of their building and then saw police arresting the young person. Sato began taping the encounter in which the young person was pinned to the ground, he said.
“He was handcuffed on his back and he started slightly moving a little,” Sato said of the Black youth.
Bystanders became angry over the encounter before Sato found himself in handcuffs. “The more I said that I couldn’t breathe, the more it was hurting,” Sato said after his release. “They had me in a hog-tied position.”
A public information officer with the San Francisco Police Department didn’t comment on why Sato was arrested. However, residents said they believed that he was arrested for taping the encounter, not physically interfering with police business. No detailed information was made available about the Black youth’s arrest.