Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Monday, December 3, 2007

Family Guy Not Guilty: Bayview Dad Acquitted of Police Battery

Posted By on Mon, Dec 3, 2007 at 10:28 AM


Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince said that parents just don't understand.

Well, count in Bayview father of three Ronald Brown: He didn't understand why police should come to his house, beat him up, and then charge him with battery.

The 43-year-old beat the rap last week when he was acquitted of two counts of resisting arrest and battery on a police officer after officers showed up in the wee hours to take Brown's stepson into custody. According to the Public Defender's office, this was yet another case of big city cops proving they're often not flaming liberals with nothing but joy and equanimity toward racial minorities in their pure, honest hearts.

“It was clear that the police officers involved in this case were not truthful on key points of their testimony,” says Deputy Public Defender Peter Santina. “A parent has a right to know why their child is being arrested and where he is being taken. An incident like this would have never happened to a white family living in Pacific Heights or Noe Valley."

More from the Public Defender's office:

On October 18, 2006, at 1:30 a.m., Brown was awoken by a knock at his

door. When he opened the door, Brown saw his 16-year-old stepson being

pulled away by Police Officer Marvin Cabuntala. When he asked the officer

why he was arresting his stepson, Officer Cabuntala told him that his son

was being detained for questioning. Brown repeated his inquiries and

followed the officer and stepson onto the sidewalk. Brown was then

approached by several other officers, including Officer Christian Berge and

Officer Jesse Farrell, and was knocked to the ground and placed in a


During trial, the officers involved admitted knocking Brown to the

ground and applying a chokehold, but claimed their actions were justified

by Brown’s actions. On direct examination, Officer Berge testified that

Brown refused to obey another officer’s orders not to interfere with his

stepson’s arrest. At one point, Officer Farrell attempted to arrest Brown,

who, according to police, physically resisted.

Brown took the stand in his defense and denied resisting arrest or

striking any of the officers. The defense also presented evidence that

Officer Farrell had engaged a pattern of using force against civilians

during arrest and that he had been involved in at least twelve incidents

involving force against civilians between 2004 and 2006.

-- Joe Eskenazi

  • Pin It

Tags: , , ,

About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"