The scene described by Davis Police paints a picture where police officers, driving an unmarked police vehicle near College Park and Russell, encountered a large group of people in the roadway and blocking traffic.
In the police account, the police pulled near a group to take action but, before they could act, the unmarked police vehicle was surrounded by a large hostile group and several subjects began to yell threats at the police officers in the car. One subject quickly moved to simulate pulling a gun on the officers. As the officers exited the car and began to identify themselves as the police, two officers were immediately physically attacked by multiple suspects and beaten on the ground.
However, there is another version of the event that occurred. Isabel Lynch, a Sacramento resident and student at Sierra College in Rocklin, said she did not know the people involved but had met them that day.
She was waiting with other people to cross on the edge of a sidewalk when she said a van came and nearly hit them. At this point a passenger in the van opened the door and began waving at the crowd.
At this point, the people were unaware that the people in the van were police officers, and she explained that the driver of the van “laid on the horn and was yelling out the window, ‘Get the f— off the street,’ ”
At this point people in the crowd and officers yelled obscenities, and fighting broke out.
“I did see one of the officers on the ground, and I saw one girl kicking one of the officers,” she said.
“A lot of it didn’t make sense,” she said. “I think they (police) were just reacting, and they reacted poorly.”
She estimated ten people were involved in fighting with the officers, but at this point only three have been arrested – although police believe there will be additional arrests.
According to the police, the three arrested were from out of the area and are not UC Davis students.
Alexander Reide Craver, 22, and Elijah James Williams, 19, both of West Sacramento, as well as Antwoine Rashadek Perry, 21, of Elk Grove, were arrested on Saturday.
In a later statement from Police Chief Pytel, the Vanguard was told that they have “received video now which shows what happened from the beginning and corroborates the officers statements, including that one of the arrestees lifted up his shirt like he was going to pull a gun. As this was happening the officer got out of his car and went to grab him and was immediately hit in the back of the head and then hit several times, taken to the ground and kicked several times in the head.”
He explained, “The officer did fight back. The other two officers got out of the car and were almost immediately in the scuffle trying to keep the one officer from being attacked.”
The police have not responded to a Vanguard request to view the video. But again, based on the video, the police believe their version of events to be corroborated and that the attack on their officers, who have not been publicly named as of yet, was unwarranted and illegal.
If the entire event was captured on body cameras or other video, the police should release that video to the public.
—David M. Greenwald reporting