May 14, 2015
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An incident that involved the arrest of a Richmond man in the Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco has led to a federal civil rights lawsuit from Bay Area rappers who say they and others were wrongfully detained by police while filming a music video, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The detainment occurred near a playground on Kiska Road on March 8 when police interrupted a video shoot involving Bay Area artists Yung Lott and Joeski, demanded everyone raise their hands, held them at gunpoint, handcuffed and then searched them, according to the report. Participants of the video said there was no reason to be stopped for questioning.

“We’re shooting a video bro,” one man told police in a video of the incident posted to YouTube (see below).

During the incident, police said they arrested two men, including 21-year-old Taj Williams of Richmond, on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a loaded gun. But those taking part in the music video said Williams was not part of the group and had been walking toward their group during the video shoot.

“Without probable cause or a search warrant, SFPD officers subjected each and every member of the group to an unreasonable search, seizure, arrest, conspiracy to arrest and humiliation at gunpoint,” the suit says, according to the Chronicle.

The lawsuit goes even further. It states SFPD officers acted recklessly and with prejudice as they “would not have allowed a perpetrator that they perceived to be armed with a loaded handgun enter a group of innocent white civilians (for instance, executives at a Google convention).”

The shoot was for a new track called “Demo.”

SFPD has not responded to the suit.

Here’s how the music video turned out (Warning NSFW for explicit language).

About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.