Twin brothers Carlos and Thomas Williams have filed federal discrimination lawsuits against police in Rancho Cordova, California for allegedly beating, choking and arresting them after they were mistaken for burglars outside of Carlos’ house.
According to the lawsuits, Carlos was outside showing Thomas a new water drain he had installed last March when a couple walked over and asked the men “What the f— are you doing on this property?” The couple reportedly called police, accusing the Black men of being burglars, and Rancho Cordova police responded with their guns drawn and yelling for the brothers to “get your f—— hands up.”
The lawsuits, which also name Sacramento County and the particular officers involved in the incident, accused police of roughing up the men before slapping handcuffs on them and carting them off to jail – even after police saw Carlos Williams’ driver’s license which listed the house as his address and after they received confirmation from a neighbor that he lived in the house, reported The Sacramento Bee.
Still, police arrested the brothers, charging Thomas Williams of felony assault and Carlos Williams of resisting arrest. Prosecutors later refused to file charges.
“This is a case of police brutality,” Thomas Williams writes in his lawsuit, which points out that he works as an educator and founder of a school for children with disabilities, according to The Sacramento Bee. “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 lawsuits accuse police of excessive force and false arrest, among other claims.
“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,” Thomas Williams’ lawsuit adds.
The Sacramento Bee reached out to the Rancho Cordova Police Department for comment. A spokeswoman referred questions to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, which oversees and operates the department. The Sheriff’s Office declined to comment.
Since the March 23, 2019 incident, one of the lawsuits claim police officers continue to harass Carlos by engaging in a “coordinated intimidation campaign, involving unmarked cars repeatedly circling Carlos’ home, spotlights shining brightly into Carlos’ home at night, and frequent flat tires to Carlos’ vehicle.”