Rancho Cordova, CA — The taxpayers of Rancho Cordova were put on notice this week that they will likely be shelling out thousands of dollars for the actions of their city’s finest. According to a lawsuit filed in Federal court this month, Carlos Williams was showing his twin brother Thomas a new water drain he just installed at his new house when cops arrived, accused them of robbing the place and savagely beat and arrested them.
The incident unfolded on March 23, 2019 at the home of Carlos Williams. According to the lawsuit, Carlos was showing his brother the drain outside his new home when a couple walked over and asked, “what the f**k are you doing on this property?” then accused them of being burglars.
According to the suit, that couple called 911 to report the brothers as burglars. Instead of questioning the twin brothers — likely due to the color of their skin, according to the lawsuit — they were immediately profiled and officers showed up with guns drawn.
The lawsuit states that the Rancho Cordova officers who responded to the 911 call jumped out of the car with guns pointed at the innocent twin brothers demanding they “get your f**king hands up!”
“They had their guns drawn in point-blank range and then it became real,” Thomas said.
Carlos and Thomas say their hands were in the air, but deputies still got physical.
“Forcefully throwing us to the ground like we were pigs being slaughtered in a slaughterhouse,” Carlos said.
According to the lawsuit, the officers then proceeded to beat, choke, handcuff and arrest the two brothers, before carting them off to jail. The lawsuit states that the brothers’ arrest and beating came after they were searched and police actually observed Carlos Williams’ 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.”
“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.”
“I remember being kneed in the back of my head and elbowed on the side of my face,” Thomas said.
Carlos says at one point, he saw his brother in a choke-hold, and he thought he wasn’t going to survive the night.
“I said, ‘Man he’s not going to make it.’ I saw the veins and the officer just squeezing him tight,” Carlos said.
Despite the two brothers proving their innocence to the cops, they were both arrested. Thomas Williams was charged with felony assault on a law enforcement officer while Carlos Williams was charged with resisting arrest.
Naturally, the police chief stood by the officers and said their response was simply good policing.
“This can be a very violent thing having a residential burglary. People who commit residential burglaries have weapons so it would be reasonable that deputies would respond that way,” Sacramento County Sheriff’s Deputy Rod Grassmann said.
Luckily for the brothers, however, after reviewing the evidence in the case a judge later threw out the charges and declined to prosecute.
According to the Sacramento Bee:
A Rancho Cordova spokeswoman referred queries about the lawsuits to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, the agency that operates the Rancho Cordova Police Department under contract with the city. The Sheriff’s Office declined to comment on pending litigation.
But the lawsuits contend the incident stems, at least in part, from the fact that neighbors saw two black men standing outside the house the night of March 23, 2019, and called police.
“This is a case of police brutality,” says Thomas Williams’ lawsuit, which noted that he is an educator, entrepreneur and founder of a school for children with disabilities. “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 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.”
Despite being innocent and having the charges dropped, the brother say that they still face harassment by the police.
Since the incident, the lawsuit states, sheriff’s and police 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.”
This is what working on your house while black looks like in a police state.