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San Jose Police officer beat a jaywalking suspect instead of walking away

Journalists from the Bay Area News Group and the California Reporting Project reviewed a series of cases involving violent confrontations between San Jose police and mentally impaired individuals. Many of those cases raise questions about the conduct of the department’s officers, who have been trained to avoid the use of force in such situations. Our full report can be read here.

Case Study #2: William Wallace

THE SCENE: A nearly empty Sunol Street near the intersection with West San Carlos Street, on May 26, 2021. San Jose Police Officer Barron Kim’s encounter with Wallace on this night over a minor infraction — jaywalking — careened into violence. Should the officer have walked away rather than confronting him?

William Wallace sits bloodied and handcuffed in a southbound traffic lane on Sunol Street following a 2021 stop by San Jose Police for alleged jaywalking. (San Jose Police) 

Kim immediately suspected that Wallace’s “bizarre behavior” stemmed from mental illness or intoxication. When Kim informed Wallace of his intent to detain him, Wallace was defiant, cursing at the officer and pushing his bike towards him as he walked away.

An excerpt from Officer Barron Kim’s police report regarding his encounter with William Wallace. (San Jose Police) 

Kim responded with force, chasing Wallace down, pinning him to the ground and punching the man multiple times in the face. Wallace fought back. He was left with a broken nose and multiple lacerations from the encounter.

In this email to SJPD, San Jose’s Independent Police Auditor revealed her concerns about Kim’s conduct in the Wallace incident. (San Jose Police) 

After Wallace filed a complaint, San Jose’s Independent Police Auditor raised questions about why Kim confronted Wallace at all. The department reviewed the incident and exonerated Kim.

https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2023/10/08/youre-not-free-to-leave-a-san-jose-police-officer-beat-a-jaywalking-suspect-who-failed-to-follow-his-orders-should-he-have-walked-away-instead/ San Jose Police officer beat a jaywalking suspect instead of walking away

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