March 8, 2017
In an exclusive interview with 209 Times, the man attacked by a transient in Martin Luther King Jr park across from city hall last night says it was he who was attacked not the other way around.
The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, says himself and a friend were actually trying to recruit the homeless man to their cause of protesting police shootings and calling for police accountability in Stockton. The man became irate and without warning hit him in the face with the handle of a shovel, (not a knife which was rumored). At that point he and his friend fought back, which then brought the attention of a few of the 20-40 officers posted up at city hall.
That reaction caused another reaction by fellow activists who also ran to the park to ensure their associates were not being abused by police. One man can be heard running along with police yelling at them to make sure their body cameras were turned on, a direct concern from the shooting death of their friend and family member, Colby Friday, last summer in which SPD revealed officer David Wells did not turn on his camera until after he had shot Friday several times. SPD has changed their official announcement of that shooting 3 times, offering completely different accounts.
The two activists involved in the altercation were just feet away from me in front of city hall and I personally viewed them walk across the street to the park, although I did not see the intial attack. When police rushed the scene they arrested the men who were attacked by the homeless man with the weapon, which sparked the angry response from the crowd feeling SPD were targeting the victims because they were part of the group protesting them. That anger is what escalated into an all out protest with traffic shut down and mayor tubbs being escorted to his car by 20 riot police for the 3rd time in a row.