Police Officer Under Investigation for Antagonizing George Floyd Protesters
A policeman in San Jose, California has been placed under investigation following a social media backlash over his behavior at a local protest for George Floyd on Friday.
In videos that have now gone viral, Jared Yuen, 33, appeared “too excited” to face protesters, swaying with his projectile launcher and even licking his lips at one point.
The police officer, who has held his job for six years, was also heard saying “Let’s get this motherf*cker” and “Shut up, b*tch” on two separate occasions.
“He was escalating an already seemingly tense situation and making it even worse, thus endangering members of the public,” Andrea Prichett, a founding member of Berkeley Copwatch, told ABC News.
San Jose Police Department (SJPD) Chief Eddie Garcia told reporters on Sunday that he has removed Yuen from street duty. Additionally, he was placed under an Internal Affairs investigation.
“I’m not happy with his actions, I’m sure if Jared was sitting here he’d be embarrassed as well. But I will tell you, I know Jared and he’s a good kid who made a mistake who let his emotions get the better of him,” said Garcia.
The police chief, who was among the first police leaders to condemn Floyd’s killing, also claimed that Yuen “has put his life on the line for the city multiple times,” according to The Mercury News.
In 2016, Yuen became a victim officer in an auto-theft encounter, which saw the suspect ramming his car while trying to escape.
Lan Diep, the only Asian American on the San Jose City Council, noted that he felt obligated to call out Yuen’s “poor judgment.”
“Police are here to serve and protect. During a national debate about systemic racism and the role of police, his provocations are not helpful,” he tweeted.
However, he believes Yuen should not be fired, according to ABC News.
“We have to proceed and call out wrongs, but we need to provide space to win people’s hearts and minds and allow them a chance to atone and win allies as we continue on the righteous path,” he told the outlet.
The backlash against Yuen appears to have escalated after people found that he earned $225,000 last year, including overtime pay, “other pay” and benefits.
Anyone who has a complaint about San Jose police conduct can fill out and submit this online form or head over here for more options.
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