Civil rights attorney John Burris to sue SFPD over alleged Valencia Gardens profiling

Civil rights attorney John Burris notably fought legal battles against OPD's "riders" and BART police on behalf of Oscar Grant.
AP photo by Jeff Chiu

Prominent civil rights lawyer John Burris will sue the SFPD on behalf of the family of D’Paris “DJ” Williams, after a neighborhood brawl involving police at the Valencia Gardens housing project that Burris called “outrageous.” 

Last Friday, 20 year old D’Paris Williams was bicycling to his cousins’ house from the Batkid festivities downtown when plainclothes police officers from the Violence Reduction Team, a narcotics and firearms reduction squad, attempted to detain him for riding his bike on the sidewalk. In the confusion, a brawl broke out with the police, Williams, and three neighbors. Video was recorded of the incident, which quickly went viral. 

After seeing a bloody and beaten Williams carried to a squad car by police in the video clip, his family and the residents of Valencia Gardens have posed the question: why? 

Why did plainclothes officers tasked with the mission of seizing guns stop a young man coasting on his bike on a sidewalk for a few feet? The family said they believe Williams was targeted because he was a young man of color visiting a housing project.

“When young people are brutally assaulted by the police, there must be accountability,” Burris told the Guardian.

Williams’ step-father, Frank Williams, an ex-offender who now works with the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, was shaken when he first heard what happened to his son, DJ. “I know there are some good cops, some are my friends,” he said.  “But there are some bad cops. What ran through my mind was how he got profiled like that, just because. I don’t like how it happened, and how they justified it.”

The SFPD was unavailable for comment at press time. All they found on DJ Williams was juice and a cupcake. 

A protest defending D'Paris Williams and the three other men hurt and detained in the brawl marched in the Mission Tuesday, and another protest is planned for tonight at 5pm at 15th and Guerrero. 

Click here for our previous coverage of the Valencia Gardens incident


Israel is an island of civilization in a sea of chaos and barbarous violence. Naturally, Bay Area progressives prefer chaos.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 23, 2013 @ 12:16 pm

"Naturally, Bay Area progressives prefer chaos."

They prefer chaos, so long as it's a long, long way from them.

If Marcos had to worry about suicide bombers on a daily basis, he would change his tune amazingly rapidly.

Posted by racer さ on Nov. 23, 2013 @ 12:43 pm

nowhere near as bad as being a cyclist in SF, and that he is having his civil rights violated by cars in the same way as Jews were by Nazi's.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 23, 2013 @ 12:59 pm
Posted by Guest on Nov. 23, 2013 @ 3:26 pm


Posted by Guest on Nov. 23, 2013 @ 3:35 pm

Nazism is a 20th century racist ideology.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 23, 2013 @ 4:00 pm

Not even close. It was racism that drive them from it in the first place.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 7:05 am

who had mostly converted to Islam or Christianity, from their homes until the Zionists did so.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 7:59 am

It was created by negotiation, agreement and treaty, and not by force. The non-Jews have 99% of the land area of the ME and all of the oil. If they screw those advantages up, it's not the fault of a few million Jews in a tiny part of a resource-free desert.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 8:34 am

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.[

Posted by marcos on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 8:52 am

The demographic trends are unmistakable. Jewish immigration to Israel is done. All who want to live there, are already there. All that's left is the birth rate of the Jewish population vs the birthrate of the Palestinian population. And in fact, outmigration by Jews is already on the rise and will only increase, as Israel goes more and more off the deep end politically. The only Jews these days having kids are the ultra-orthodox. Even right-leaning mainstream Zionists aren't going to want to live in a country where they're squeezed between the ultra-orthodox on one side, and Palestinians on the other. Meanwhile, Israeli policies of putting settlements on the best Palestinian land have made a two-state solution impossible.

Fifty years from now, Israel/Palestine will be a single, multi-cultural (but majority Palestinian) state. Israel is now pursuing much the same policies as its former ally, apartheid South Africa. And they will end the same way.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 8:59 am

At least the apartheid regime in South Africa had the intelligence to keep the ANC leadership alive if on ice. The nuclear armed Zionists have systematically exterminated the Palestinian leadership. This means that the ultimate resolution of this will be much bloodier than in South Africa.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 9:21 am

good for them, or bad. That's not your call.

They appear to like the idea, so far.

The situation in Israel is nothing like aparthied in a colonial power.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 10:36 am

It's still there and, militarily, the gap is far greater now than then. Plus the US has guaranteed Israel's right to exist and will use unlimited force to uphold that.

If the Jews cannot have 1% of the mid-East, where would you want to put them?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 10:38 am


Posted by marcos on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 10:54 am

Brooklyn, and Brooklyn is willing to take them, then that would be an option.

I suspect that neither is true.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 11:08 am

Israel is unsustainable, it is just a matter of time before US taxpayers yank the subsidy rug out from under Israel.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 11:26 am

Nobody knows the future but I see no evidence of less resolve either on the part of Israel or in American support for Israel.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 11:41 am

There is dissonance between the position of the American government and the electorate on Israel. That too is unsustainable.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 12:08 pm

representatives who are known to support Israel, your statement is clearly false.

The fact that Israel's enemies attack us merely reinforces that.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 12:33 pm

Outside of a small minority Palestinians are not citizens of Israel, so the "demographic" trends of which you speak are bogus. Palestinians can breed like rabbits all they want in the Palestinian Authority but that doesn't mean they're endangering Israel's demographic destiny any more so than would Mexicans breeding like rabbits in Tijuana endanger San Diego's destiny.

And while your desire for Israelis and Palestinians to sing kumbayah in their coming multiethnic paradise is admirable, it's also delusional. Jews have been driven from every Arab country where they once lived, Iraq once had one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world, today there are 2 Jews out of over 500,000 left in Iraq. There is no peaceful coexistence between Muslims and Jews in the Middle East (nor between Muslims and Christians any longer) and since Jews refuse to live as second-class citizens under Muslim hegemony the only answer is separate state.

Israel is not going anywhere, ever. You need to give up your fantasy.

Posted by The Goebblin Love Child of Smaug on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 12:21 pm

Jews are fleeing Israel as fast as they can.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 12:35 pm

Our resident Funktionshäftling cheering for the destruction of Israel and the obliteration of the Jewish people. How sad it must be for you.

Posted by The Goebblin Love Child of Smaug on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 12:46 pm
Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 12:59 pm

Zionism is racism.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 2:55 pm
Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 3:12 pm

but there is no evidence that that outcome is happening, they always claim it is "only a matter of time" or that it is "inevitable".

I can only assume that you can draw sufficient comfort from that fantasy to enable you to tolerate the fact that you are 100% wrong.

Progressives are never wrong. They are just "early".

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 12:58 pm

"Jewish immigration to Israel is done. All who want to live there, are already there."

LOL. From today's Times of Israel:

"French Jewish immigration to Israel up by 49 percent
Aliya from Western Europe in general sees 26% rise compared to 2012."

It turns out that the anti-Semitic alliance of European leftists and radical Muslims has made the secular paradise of Western Europe rather uncomfortable for Jews - expect a major new migration of Jews from Western Europe to Israel.

Posted by racer さ on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 4:48 pm

We're talking what, dozens of people? out of a few hundred thousand French Jews. With those kinds of numbers, it doesn't take much to move the percentages by a lot. One large family will move the percentages. Who are you kidding?

Meanwhile, thousands of Israelis are finding life better in places like Brooklyn, and even Berlin (!).

You're too blind to see it, but this is the beginning of the end of Zionism.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 6:27 pm

Is it because they are successful?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 7:06 pm

Long live the Jews!

I am a Jew, I am successful, if you disagree with me you are anti-semitic.

Don't be anti-semitic.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 7:19 pm

Leftists tend to hate anything that has an image of being strong, good and successful. They hate Israel, they hate Judeo-Christian civilization, they hate Jews, they hate rationality. The reasons that leftists give for hating Israel, etc. clearly do not correspond with their real motives. They SAY they hate Israel because it is warlike, imperialistic, sexist, ethnocentric and so forth, but where these same faults appear in Arab countries or in Palestinian cultures, the leftist finds excuses for them, or at best he GRUDGINGLY admits that they exist; whereas he ENTHUSIASTICALLY points out (and often greatly exaggerates) these faults where they appear in Judeo-Christian civilization. Thus it is clear that these faults are not the leftist's real motive for hating Israel and Jews. He hates Israel and Jews because they are strong and successful.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 7:23 pm

Marcos is Jewish and successful. Why are you such an anti-semite?

Posted by Greg on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 7:45 pm

Percentage of U.S. Jews who believe God gave Israel to the Jewish people : 40

Percentage of white U.S. evangelicals who do : 82

Portion of U.S. Jews with Christmas trees in their homes : 1/3

Posted by marcos on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 6:59 pm

Clearly, American Jews had less opportunity than Evangelical Christians to believe that God gave Israel to the Jewish people.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 7:26 pm

Are you trying to suggest that we're slow on the uptake?

Posted by marcos on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 7:37 pm

So long as outcomes are not statistically equivalent, so long as outcomes vary due to ethnicity, then at some point(s) along the line, there is not equality of opportunity.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 25, 2013 @ 7:52 pm

differences between races. People who were geographically and culturally separated from each other for tens of thousands of years develop differences that have real world consequences.

You can never fix that 100% even if you think that should be fixed, which I do not.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 6:40 am

In the aggregate, outcomes should not vary.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 6:54 am

There is nowhere on the planet where every sub-group and sub-classification performs identically.

Indeed, you would not be able to perform those classifications if everyone were identical.

Celebrate diversity, marcos!

Posted by Guest on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 7:30 am

In the aggregate, people don't vary.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 8:21 am

Is a lack of diversity a "San Francisco value"?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 26, 2013 @ 8:32 am

Israeli security has thwarted numerous hijacking and bombing attempts on its airports and national airlines for decades now. El Al security is the best in the world - bar none.

Posted by The Goebblin Love Child of Smaug on Nov. 22, 2013 @ 3:39 pm

The SFPD should move to Oakland.

It's only 10 minutes away on BART.

I'm sure they'd be much happier there.

Posted by 3 Fingers Brown on Nov. 29, 2013 @ 8:23 pm

Can't wait to see that bubble 'fro in court!!

Posted by The Goebblin Love Child of Smaug on Nov. 22, 2013 @ 3:12 pm

Or is it just successful black people? Maybe you agree with Chromefields and think black people should stay in their place and not get "uppity?" Either way you sound like you're just dripping with hate and envy, and it doesn't wear well on you.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 23, 2013 @ 6:02 pm

love it when blacks are successful, because it shows that all the patronizing and pandering people like you do towards blacks, and all the politically correct twaddle, is a total waste of time.

The most powerful man and the richest woman in the world are blacks. So why do you insist on feeling sorry for them and demanding they have special treatment?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 23, 2013 @ 6:27 pm

I looked at Forbes after you posted this nonsense in the past. I can't remember which women are richer, but there are quite a few, most notably the heirs to the Walton empire.

Greg should just ignore these unfounded attacks.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 23, 2013 @ 6:41 pm

Oprah might not be the richest woman in the world, but she's probably the richest self-made woman in the world. People like the heirs to the Walton empire got their money because their daddy was super-successful. Oprah came from poverty in rural Mississippi to become one of the most, if not the most, influential media figure in the world today.

And Greg is all about defending successful black people (especially ones who make their living suing cops because that dovetails nicely with his hatred of police) but he can't stand successful Asian people, especially Asian politicians who are all apparently part of some giant Chinese conspiracy (even if they're not Chinese, but that's just some minor tidbit to be ignored).

Posted by Guest on Nov. 23, 2013 @ 9:02 pm

You do know that I supported Eric Mar, Leland Yee, and quite a few other successful Asians. What do you have against successful Asians?

Posted by Greg on Nov. 24, 2013 @ 11:52 pm

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