In late May, 36-year-old San Jose man David Baca was injured when he was hit with a baton by a San Jose police officer during protests that ended up taking a violent turn, following the shooting death of George Floyd.
After an investigation, Baca was charged with assault and battery on a police officer. But according to the Mercury News, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office has decided to dismiss the charges.
The confrontation happened on May 29 while Baca and more than 200 protestors converged at Seventh and Santa Clara streets in downtown San Jose calling for an end to police violence.
The demonstration suddenly went sideways late in the afternoon when protesters could be seen throwing objects at officers and confronting them, after officers had formed a barrier line to keep the group from moving.
In September, San Jose Police released officer body-camera video of the incident which also included an aerial video from KPIX. In the video, you can see Baca walk up to an officer while holding a cell phone. As the video plays out, Baca grabs onto an officer’s baton before he is dragged to the ground and arrested.
The situation was thrust into the national spotlight because the tense moments were caught on camera from multiple angles.
“We were lucky there was a helicopter directly overhead. We were lucky the events occurred on one of those lines they painted on the street, so we could get a very clear estimate for how far away from police David was,” Dan Mayfield, an attorney for Baca, told the Mercury News.
According to San Jose Inside, officers cut off Baca’s airflow as they piled on top of him during the arrest. Baca also claims officers broke his knee, which required emergency surgery.
Up until this week, San Jose police had been maintaining that Baca aggressively approached officers just before grabbing onto the baton.
All the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office will say about the move to dismiss the case is that there was not enough evidence to charge Baca. So far, San Jose Police have not commented on the decision not to pursue the charges.
The case doesn’t appear to be fully closed at this point. San Jose Inside reports that Baca’s legal team may file a lawsuit against the City of San Jose because of the injuries that were inflicted by the officers.