A confusing and messy situation occurred outside a Fresno, California Waffle Shop restaurant that had reopened despite local restrictions.
The Media Research Center reported that the owner had placed restrictions on the number of guests he would allow into his restaurant even though he reopened against government wishes. Last Sunday, around 20 people were patiently waiting outside the restaurant to get a table when two uniformed state officials wearing masks and carrying clipboards approached and demanded to be let through. MRC reported the customers told the officials they had to wait in line like everyone else. The officials left.
Shortly after, they returned with a Fresno police officer and again demanded to be let into the restaurant. People in line again refused to let them through, with one man saying “no” multiple times.
“Some witnesses say the policeman pushed a woman, while the Daily News reports the officer ‘knocks into one woman, causing her to stumble,’” MRC reported.
The New York Daily News published body cam footage from the officer that shows him handcuffing the man who said “no” while people in line called the policeman a “stupid bastard,” “a**hole,” and “son of a bitch.”
Fresno Police Chief Andy Hall released the footage after a bystander had posted footage earlier showing the entire encounter. The footage from the bystander showed the officer politely asking people in line to let him through. “Hi folks, make a way,” he said. A women who was in line, who posted a third video of the incident, told the officer he had no right to be there.
The police offer then turns and “knocks into one woman,” as the Daily News reported.
“Moments later, he cuffs the man at the door and pulls out his yellow Taser, the video posted by Richard Tilley, a supporter of the Waffle Shop’s owner, shows,” the Daily News reported.
The man was taken from the crowd and briefly detained before being released and treated for minor injuries.
The bystander video shows the officer grab the man’s left wrist after he used it to block the policeman from entering the restaurant. The officer twists the man’s arm behind him and handcuffs him. The police bodycam footage appears to show the officer claiming he was “assaulted” by the elderly man.
Chief Hall said his department had been “placed in the middle of opposing political viewpoints on how the city operates during the COVID-19 pandemic” and was required to “enforce laws that are passed by your elected politicians,” the Daily News reported.
Hall added that the officer in question was told to get “voluntary compliance” and not to arrest anyone without prior approval. Hall still concluded the officer “was acting lawfully while assisting code enforcement.”
“The individual in this case did obstruct the officer in his duties. The officer’s detention of this individual allowed for code enforcement (officials) to complete their duties. As a result, the individual was only detained and was released without any further charges being filed,” Hall said.
“I am asking the public to always respect the authority of a police officer,” he added. “The men and women of the Fresno Police Department risk their lives every day for this community and will continue to do so during and after this crisis.”
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