Last March, two twin brothers from Rancho Cordova, Calif., joined the long list of black people who have reportedly been harassed by police officers and/or nosy neighbors for committing the horrific crime of...minding their own damn business.
The Sacramento Bee reports that Carlos and Thomas Williams have filed two lawsuits against Rancho Cordova, Sacramento County and the officers involved in their 2019 arrests, alleging that they were beaten and choked before being taken to jail on false charges.
According to the lawsuits, the incident started when Carlos was showing his brother Thomas a water drain he’d just installed outside of his new home when a couple from the neighborhood walked by and suspected that they were attempting to burglarize the house and confronted the two brothers, asking them, “What the fuck are you doing on this property?”
The Williams brothers explained that Carlos owned the house but were still being accused of criminal activity and, within minutes, the police were called and arrived at the scene with their guns drawn and ordered the brothers to “get your fucking hands up.”
The lawsuit filed on behalf of Thomas said that the officers searched both brothers and found Carlos’ wallet and driver’s license, “which listed his current address and made it plainly obvious to the arresting officers that Carlos was not burglarizing his own home.”
According to the suit, a neighbor also confirmed that Carlos owned the home where the incident occurred.
“Carols confirmed yet again to arresting officers he lived at the dispatched address,” the lawsuit says. “Further, a neighbor, Oracio Galvan, also confirmed to officers that Carlos lived in the home.”
The lawsuit continues saying, “The police officers arrived at the scene and immediately drew their guns, screamed profanities at the brothers, placed one brother in a chokehold, and beat them both into unconsciousness. The brothers attempted to convince the officers that they were residents, but the officers did not care.”
To be clear, the two brothers should never have been confronted, but they were. After it was explained to the neighbors that one of them was the property owner, it should have been left at that, but it wasn’t. The cops should not have been called and should not have rolled up on them with guns, but they were and they did.
But the most bewildering part of this story (I mean, besides the beating and choking, which likely surprises next to zero black people), was the fact that despite receiving proof of address and confirmation of residency from a neighbor, the two men were still arrested.
The obvious explanation, of course, is that the brothers are black and America is racist. People saw two black men in front of a nice house and assumed they were criminals and the police were called and assumed the same. This is why the lawsuits state that racism was, at least in part, the motivating factor of the conflict.
“This is a case of police brutality,” says Thomas Williams’ lawsuit. “Sacramento County and Rancho Cordova violated Dr. Thomas Williams’ constitutional rights and California civil rights when they arrested two African American brothers outside of their own home purportedly on suspicion of burglary.”
The lawsuit also noted that Thomas is an educator, entrepreneur and founder of a school for children with disabilities, but that shouldn’t matter. Even if he worked at McDonald’s and never founded anything, this should not have happened.
Making matters worse, one of the lawsuits alleges that since the incident, police officers have engaged in acts of intimidation against the Williams brothers. It claims that sheriffs and police department employees “have engaged in a coordinated intimidation campaign, involving unmarked cars repeatedly circling Carlos’ home, spotlights shining brightly into Carlos’ home at night, and frequent flat tires to Carlos’ vehicle.”
Thomas had been arrested for felony assault and Carlos for resisting arrest but prosecutors later declined to file charges on either of them.
The suits allege excessive force and false arrest, among other claims.