Black man who was arrested for idling car won’t face charges

Craig Williams says he was arrested for simply leaving his car running, but police assaulted him

Craig Williams (left)

A Black man who was arrested for keeping his car idling while shopping at a 7-11 store in Sacramento, Calif., will not be charged, CBS Sacramento is reporting.

Craig Williams, 40, was arrested May 4 for resisting arrest after a struggle with a Sacramento police officer outside of the store.

Body cam video showed the officer opening the door of the empty, idling car and turning off the ignition before entering the store to approach Williams. During their interaction, Williams says he was injured when he was forced to the ground.

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It is a city violation to leave keys in the ignition of an empty car with engine running, the Sacramento District Attorney’s office has said.

The office attempted to give Williams a citation but Williams refused to give the officer his identification.

District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said in a written statement that “based upon the facts presented,” her office was declining to file charges “in the interests of justice,” the news organization reported.

Said Williams’ lawyer, Justin Ward, “I’ve never heard of this offense being prosecuted.”

The case represents an ongoing pattern of brutal behavior by the Sacramento Police Department against Black men, Sacramento NAACP President Betty Williams told CBS Sacramento.

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Williams has filed suit against Sacramento for injuries he said that he received at the time of the arrest, the news organization reported.

Word of the altercation became public after Williams’ girlfriend began recording the incident with a cell phone.

According to previous reports, the officer pushed Williams into the wall at the store an then to the ground, at which point Williams is heard in the cell phone video saying, “I give up, I give up.” Williams extended his arms to be cuffed, according to various news reports.

Williams was taken to the Sacramento County Jail on suspicion of resisting arrest and leaving the ignition key in an unattended vehicle, the Sacramento Beereported. He was released on his own recognizance.

At the time of the incident, the Sacramento NAACP issued a statement saying Williams should never have been arrested, the Sacramento Bee reported.