On May 1st, 2012, Riverside Community members gathered at Bordwell Park for the May Day Community Convergence event. There was free food, clothes, groceries, workshops, and music for the entire community. Over 200 people participated in the event, which started at 3pm.
However, the seemingly peaceful event was disrupted by the Riverside Police Department. The Police arrested two attendees, one a UCR student and the other an RCC student. The two individuals were arrested near the intersection of Martin Luther King Blvd. and Kansas Ave.
A police officer in an unmarked police car (with no license plate) began harassing a group of cyclist as they headed west on MLK Blvd, towards the park. The officer asked the RCC student to pull over and the RCC student responded, in a somewhat confused state, with an innocent response, “What?” Immediately after the student responded, a police car attempted to cut off the student. The student kept riding as the police officer re-entered his vehicle to cut the student off for a second time. This time the police officer got out of his car and started chasing after the RCC student on the bicycle. The police officer yanked the student off the bicycle and threw him into street, still filled with traffic, to make the arrest.
At this point, other community members ran over to the site to witness the events taking place. A UCR student amongst the crowd was singled out by the police and thrown on the ground. Police officers held him on the ground as other police officers beat him with batons. Over 20 cop cars, along with a Riverside PD Helicopter, converged onto the location of the incident.
The two individuals arrested were taken to be processed at the Riverside Presley Detention Center. They were released around 10pm that night.
Below is video footage of the incident as well as audio of statements made by witnesses.
Audio – Statements from Witnesses