(CNN)A San Antonio jogger who was arrested and detained by police last week says he was “guilty before proven innocent” when police took in the wrong man.

Charges have since been dropped against Mathias Ometu.Ometu, a 33-year-old Black man, was jogging on August 25, witnesses said, as officers searched for a suspect in a nearby domestic violence call. Video of the incident posted to social media shows officers, one of whom is Black, forcefully shoving the man into a police vehicle as he screams.”I was told to calm down, but there is nothing calm about placing an innocent man in the back of a police vehicle,” Ometu said at a press conference Wednesday.Read MoreMathias Ometu, a jogger who was stopped and detained by San Antonio police, speaks at a press conference on Wednesday.Mathias Ometu, a jogger who was stopped and detained by San Antonio police, speaks at a press conference on Wednesday.Mathias Ometu, a jogger who was stopped and detained by San Antonio police, speaks at a press conference on Wednesday.Ometu was seen walking out of an apartment complex as officers arrived in response to a call about a domestic violence assault, according to a police report.Officers stopped Ometu and told him they had “reasonable suspicion to believe” he “matched the description of an alleged strangulation family violence incident,” the report said.The police report said Ometu refused to give his name and date of birth after several requests and his “demeanor became aggressive.” Ometu refused to get in the patrol vehicle and was then “placed in the patrol vehicle” after a “long struggle,” the report said, “using only open hand techniques.”During the incident, Ometu allegedly kicked two officers, striking one in the face, the police report said.All charges were droppedBexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales on Tuesday dismissed two charges of assault on a peace officer.”After reviewing all the evidence as well as considering all the facts and circumstances, I have decided that the just outcome is the dismissal of all charges against Mr. Ometu,” Gonzales said in a press release. “It is important to note the officers involved in this case have requested dismissal as well.”Officers had a description and believed that Ometu may have been the suspect they were looking for, but he was not that person, Gonzales said.San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said officers acted appropriately during the arrest, but he said both wanted the charges dropped.”What occurred was an unfortunate situation for everyone involved,” McManus said in the district attorney’s statement. “Although he fit the description of a domestic violence suspect, Mr. Ometu was doing nothing wrong when he was stopped, and the officers were only doing their jobs when they stopped him. Both officers wish that things had turned out differently given Mr. Ometu turned out not to be the suspect.”The officers were assaulted, but neither one was injured, he said. “Both officers felt it important to use this incident as an opportunity for unity and understanding at a time when it is most needed,” McManus said. “It is clear that pursuing charges against Mr. Ometu would not bring us closer to our goals of building trust and creating partnerships with our community.”He felt targeted while runningAbout five minutes into his jog, Ometu said he noticed a police vehicle slowing down near him. “Being a conscious, Black male, this raised an immediate flag,” he said.Ometu said he felt “targeted” while on his run and he “refused” to give the officer his name and personal information, as he had not committed a crime.”I do not know much about the laws and the regulations of this state, but I did know that I do not have to provide my name if I am not arrested for a crime,” he said.Video shows forceful arrest of Black man stopped while jogging in San AntonioVideo shows forceful arrest of Black man stopped while jogging in San AntonioVideo shows forceful arrest of Black man stopped while jogging in San AntonioOmetu said he was “placed in handcuffs aggressively” and still feels pain in his wrists from last week. He said an officer told him that he matched the description of a suspect, a male in a lime-green shirt, but the officer didn’t say anything about the race of the suspect.When officers moved to transport Ometu in a vehicle, he resisted.”Once those doors are closed on you, you never know when they are going to open again,” he said. “I did not intentionally kick, scratch or harm any officer.”There was a struggle between the two officers and Ometu, the police report said. Ometu said he was injured in the back and neck when he was forcibly placed into the police vehicle. Ometu said he was “angered” that police were trying to transport him without evidence that he had committed a crime. When the officer said he was pressing charges, Ometu was in disbelief.”He was going to move forward with assault to a police officer,” Ometu said. “I was absolutely baffled when I heard these crimes I was being charged for.”Witnesses caught it all on tapeJenny Rodriguez and Victor Maas, who witnessed the arrest and filmed the interaction between Ometu and police, told CNN by phone Friday that Ometu did not seem aggressive or confrontational toward the officers.Their videos show Ometu handcuffed standing next to a police vehicle calmly for what appears to be about six minutes before two officers start to push Ometu into the vehicle. One witness noted in a video that at least one of the officers was also Black.The video shows officers struggling with Ometu to push him into the back of a police vehicle and he is heard yelling, “You’re choking me!” several times as the struggle continues for over a minute.As the officers shut the doors of the vehicle with Ometu inside, at least three more police vehicles arrive, the video shows.In their videos, police officers are seen attempting to put the man into the vehicle. He appears to resist the police officers.Being in jail took an emotional tollOmetu says he was detained for two days. He said he spent hours handcuffed inside a police vehicle at the scene, hours in a holding cell and the rest of the time in jail.Standing in a cell with his running shorts and shirt on, he said he felt “violated.””I was stripped naked, I was exposed,” Ometu said, pausing to regain his composure. “I felt violated, extremely violated.”Feeling cold in the cell and not having access to a clock, the hours ticked by and so did his thoughts.”I experienced true darkness during this period of isolation,” Ometu said. “I thought about my job, what people thought of, what people would think of me, my record. Thousands of thoughts flew into my head, each gaining momentum of completely breaking me.”When he stepped outside on August 27, he saw three of his closest friends waiting for him. He got out to see the other side of the door.He said he learned video was captured by witnesses and that he was “trending” on social media. People had heard what was going on.Now he’s looking for justice.”Hearing or seeing the officials discuss the unfair treatment that was captured that day brought me even more hope that I will have a fair opportunity to clear my name,” he said.

Source Link:
https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/02/us/san-antonio-black-jogger-charges-dropped-trnd/index.html

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