Carlos Williams and his twin brother Thomas are filing federal lawsuits against the city of Rancho Cordova, Sacramento County and police officers involved in an encounter that took place last March.
According to the brothers, the incident occurred when Carlos was showing Thomas a water drain he had installed outside his new home in Rancho Cordova when a couple approached them asking, “What the f— are you doing on this property?” and accused them of being burglars.
A few minutes after the encounter, Rancho Cordova police responded to a 911 call of a burglary in the area. According to the suit, the police arrived at the scene with their guns and told the brothers to “get your f—— hands up.”
The brothers allege that they were beaten, choked, handcuffed, arrested and then taken to jail.
The suits suggest that the incident was sparked by the fact that Williams and his brother, Thomas, are black.
According to Thomas Williams’ suit, officers searched both men and found Carlos’ wallet and driver’s license, “which listed his current address and made it plainly obvious to the arresting officers that Carlos was not burglarizing his own home.”
“Carols confirmed yet again to arresting officers he lived at the dispatched address,” the lawsuit says. “Further, a neighbor, Oracio Galvan, also confirmed to officers that Carlos lived in the home.”
The men were still taken into custody, despite the fact that the police were able to verify that they were not burglars but did, in fact, live at the residence.
Thomas was charged with felony assault and Carlos was charged with resisting arrest. Prosecutors later declined to file charges.
“This is a case of police brutality,” says Thomas Williams’ lawsuit, which noted that he is an educator, entrepreneur and founder of a school for children with disabilities. “Sacramento County and Rancho Cordova violated Dr. Thomas Williams’ constitutional rights and California civil rights when they arrested two African American brothers outside of their own home purportedly on suspicion of burglary.
“The police officers arrived at the scene and immediately drew their guns, screamed profanities at the brothers, placed one brother in a chokehold, and beat them both into unconsciousness. The brothers attempted to convince the officers that they were residents, but the officers did not care.”
The suits allege excessive force, false arrest and other claims.