Alameda Police Release Body Cam Footage of Controversial Arrest

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The Alameda Police Department released body cam footage Friday of an encounter that took place between four of its officers and a black man detained outside his home during his morning exercise routine.

The incident drew concern on social media as another example of excessive force at the hands of law enforcement.

Mali Watkins, 44, was temporarily detained by Alameda police officers on May 23.

“I said ‘hey my car is parked three cars up, that is where I live,’” said Watkins. “I literally asked him I said, ‘officer what was I doing?’ He said, ‘you were dancing.’”

Alameda City Manager Eric Levitt released a statement Friday saying an independent investigation of the incident will take place.

Transparency, he said, is important in Alameda.

“It's taken me 44 years to get to this point, a lot of mess ups, lots, a lot of aching, a lot of protesting, a lot of activism. It's time to heal man,” Watkins said.

He mentioned forwarding the citation he received from the officers to his lawyers but was unclear with his next moves.

Meanwhile, neighbors have showed random acts of kindness and support for him. “It's our neighborhood, you need to feel safe,” neighbor Tom Faris said.

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