Arrest Ends with Hugs for Officers

Arrest Ends with Hugs for Officers

 

I recently witnesses an officer from the Alameda Police Department (APD) making an arrest. This did not make the news as far as I’m aware, though it is certainly newsworthy.

One weekday morning as I was walking to my parked car to begin my day, I heard a siren. It slowly grew louder and I paused to see what was happening. Soon, an SUV with two young men in the front seat drove slowly down Triumph Drive toward the Oakland Yacht Club followed by APD. The SUV further slowed as it neared the T-intersection at Independence Drive, and I expected it to pull over in the many open parking spaces on the side of Triumph Drive.

The SUV didn’t stop.  The driver made a slow left onto Independence Drive, continued, made another left into the parking area, continued, and then another left into a parking space, where a parked car blocked any further forward movement, all the while the police car immediately behind, siren wailing. The SUV’s driver didn’t appear to want to stop, the SUV first nudging forward and then back, still trying to maneuver. 

The police car pulled in behind the SUV, blocking its exit. An Alameda police officer exited his vehicle, drew his gun, and positioned himself several meters to the driver’s side of the SUV, his gun pointing at the two men in the front seats. The two men didn’t move and their hands weren’t visible. Realizing I was in an almost direct line of fire behind the officer, I moved further away and off to the side. The officer, his gun unwaveringly pointed at the men in the front seat, issued his commands, instructing the driver to drop the keys outside the window and both men to keep their hands visible. 

I heard “Keep your hands visible!” several times as the officer had his gun steadily pointed at the men in the front seats. A group of employees from a nearby restaurant came over to watch and I noticed one appeared to be videoing the scene with his cell phone. Other cell phone video footage of police encounters in the news came to my mind. It was a tense few minutes, even for me as a bystander. I can’t imagine what the officer was experiencing. 

Though I didn’t realize it at the time, in addition to the two men in the front seat, there could also have been passenger(s) in the back seats, not visible from the outside because of the darkly tinted windows. The officer radioed for back up. In several minutes, three more Alameda police cars arrived. During the entire time of the wait, the lone police officer had his gun pointed at the men in the front seat.

After the additional units arrived, the police officers slowly and methodically instructed the men out of the car, searched, handcuffed and detained them, including the third young man who had been in the backseat of the SUV. After all the guns had been holstered, the crowd from the restaurant dispersed. The cell phone videoing stopped and the people who had been waiting to get in their cars in the parking lot, myself included, were helpfully told how to do so by a police officer. I left as the driver of the SUV was being administered a field sobriety test.

The next day, I heard from a neighbor that the two passengers of the SUV were released by the police, only the driver was arrested. Upon release, they hugged the police officers. 

No video captured this moment to share with the world, so I want to share it here in writing. It is newsworthy. Well done, Alameda police!

 

 

Christopher Knapp lives in  Alameda.