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‘A Step Backward’: SF Police Commission Questions Mass Arrest at Skateboarding Event

An excerpt from an article by KQED. Read the entire article here.

More than 110 people were detained on Saturday night after an annual “hill bomb” skateboarding event in the Mission District was shut down by police. Many people have since criticized the forceful police tactics used to respond to the youth-led event.

‘I think there’s a consensus that events like this need to be made more safe. But I question whether what we saw made this more safe.’Kevin Benedicto, San Francisco police commissioner

A total of 81 juveniles and 32 adults were arrested for “inciting a riot” according to police, as well as for remaining present at an unlawful assembly and conspiracy.


At least one attorney is exploring a lawsuit on behalf of the youth and families who believe they were wrongfully detained at the skateboarding event.

“There’s a lot of interest in suing and challenging this police misconduct to prevent something like this from happening again,” said Rachel Lederman, senior counsel at the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund. “Parents in particular are outraged at how they were treated.”

Lederman said she has spoken with children as young as 13 and adults in their 30s who were swept up in Saturday’s mass arrest. She plans to hold a meeting next week with the affected families, and didn’t have a timeline for when a lawsuit could be filed.

Some parents waited four to six hours to reconnect with their children after they were detained at the event, Lederman said. “They were held as it became dark and cold. A lot of kids said they were freezing. They weren’t allowed to go to the bathroom, their phones were taken.”