SAN FRANCISCO—San Francisco police officers were involved in a scuffle with a disabled man on August 4 in the downtown area at around 12:10 p.m. In the video footage captured by passerby, Chaédria LaBouvier, a man identified as Musa Fudge, 42, is captured and surrounded by 14 police officers on Market Street, between Seventh and Eighth Streets.
The footage shows Fudge being pinned down on the ground by officers. Multiple spectators are seen in the video criticizing the police and verbally attacking officers for using excessive force. The footage captured shows police officers pressing against Fudge’s prosthetic leg with his backside exposed, and pants pulled halfway down from struggling with officers. LaBouvier, and other San Francisco locals are heard yelling at officers “you’re on his prosthetic leg,” “that’s how you treat handicapped people?” and stating “you don’t even have enough respect to pull this man’s pants up.”
In a public statement made by SFPD spokesperson Officer Grace Gatpandan, “officers did not place [Fudge] under arrest. He was detained for a mental health reasons and an ambulance was called to take him to the hospital for mental health evaluation.” The San Francisco News spoke to Gatpandan about Fudge’s current whereabouts, who remarked to that “once a person is handed over to a medical facility, the hospital becomes responsible for them and determines whether they are fit to be released.”
Under section 5150(a) of the Welfare and Institutions Code, peace officers have the authority to detain an individual for a mental health evaluation if the person is a danger to himself, others, or unable to care for himself due to a mental health condition.
In a recent press release made by the SFPD, Fudge was detained for mental health evaluation when using his crutches as weapons, “waving sticks around with no regard for other people within the area,” putting local pedestrians in danger. An officer on duty at the time approached Fudge with his partner and asked the man to stop swinging. “While speaking to the subject he continuously walked away from officers while also raising the sticks above his head in a threatening manner.” According to Gatpandan, “that’s when he dashed into traffic, and said ‘I don’t care if I get hit by a car.'” Officers repeatedly asked Fudge to return to the sidewalk to avoid injury from oncoming traffic on Market Street.
According to the police statement, “due to the subject’s statements about not caring if he was hit by a car, his actions with two sticks around other citizens, his aggressive behavior, and fearing for public safety, officers determined this individual was a danger to himself and others.” When officers tried to place him in handcuffs, Fudge tripped and fell forward onto the ground when resisting arrest.
Gatpandan stated to The San Francisco News that “it is not uncommon for police to deal with [racist and brute force] allegations from these incidents.” Anyone with inquiries or opinions about the August 4 incident is encouraged to contact the Office of Citizen Complaints at (415) 241-7711.
LaBouvier posted her footage on Medium, which has received over 388,000 views. According to officers, this is the second documentation of Fudge getting into an altercation with police. Fudge has had a prior history of violence and potential mental illness, with his latest incident accounted for in June, when he assaulted a police officer and was arrested for two other felony charges.