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Fresno Police Department Officers Assault Homeless Man
by Mike Rhodes (mikerhodes [at] comcast.net)
Monday Feb 24th, 2020 12:47 PM
Fresno Police officers beat this homeless man, arrested him for resisting arrest and booked him into the Fresno County Jail.
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Fresno Police Department Officers Assault Homeless Man
By Mike Rhodes

A disturbing report has emerged today about FPD Homeless Task Force officers assaulting a homeless man who they were attempting to evict from an encampment. Dez Martinez, with We Are Not Invisible, says that this is not the first time something like this has happened.

Keep in mind that this is a preliminary report and that more details will follow. On Friday, February 21 I got a call from Dez saying she was on her way to a homeless encampment near West Avenue and Freeway 180. She was asking about her rights as a journalist and homeless advocate to document the incident.

Dez is now reporting that a homeless man was assaulted on that day after the FPD Homeless Task Force arrived at about 10 a.m. at the "Dreamers Camp" and informed all individuals that they had 25 minutes to move or be arrested for trespassing. 

Some of the people living at the homeless encampment, with bulldozers parked menacingly nearby, told the Sergeant in charge that what was around them was their personal property. At about that time Ralphy (one of the residents at the encampment) returned and said "Dez is on her way”.

The Sargent walked over to one of the homeless men and said "this is the guy.” As David (the homeless person in the photo) was attempting to say "my advocate is on her way" he was thrown to the ground. After the Sargent slammed him to the ground David was punched and all he could remember was getting hit multiple times and kicked in the head by all 4 officers. 

An ambulance was called due to his injuries. 

David was taken to the Fresno Community Hospital downtown. The nurse that was cleaning his wounds said "I'm tired of seeing the police do this".

After 6 hours at the hospital, David was released and taken to the Fresno County Jail. He was then booked & released. 

He was charged with:
 
1) Resisting arrest 
2) Obstructing an officer 
3) Controlled substance 
4) Trespassing 

He was also informed he could get a charge for inciting a riot because he called Dez to come to the camp. Dez is currently getting video testimony from witnesses that were there when this incident happened. She told me that she would like to see the video cam footage from the officers involved.

###

Mike Rhodes is a member of the Community Alliance newspaper editorial board and the author of a book about the homeless in Fresno - Dispatches from the War Zone. You can contact him by email at mikerhodes [at] comcast.net .
§Assault
by Mike Rhodes Monday Feb 24th, 2020 12:47 PM
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§Assault
by Mike Rhodes Monday Feb 24th, 2020 12:47 PM
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Letter to the EditorJohn SolomonianTuesday Feb 25th, 2020 8:16 AM
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