On Saturday, May 30, Police Officer Jared Yuen was filmed on multiple occasions cursing at protesters during a rally in San Jose for the death of George Floyd. In both videos, Yuen appears agitated and eager as he stands with a line of officers. In both videos, Yuen also carries a large weapon, presumably a gun with non-lethal ammunition.
In one video, the officer shouts “shut up, bitch” at a protester before peaking out behind a different officer to shoot into the crowd. In another video, the officer yells, “let’s get these motherfuckers” as a line of police officers orders protesters to disperse. Yuen’s identity as the officer in the videos was confirmed by San Jose Councilman Lan Diep, who tweeted, “As an Asian American I feel obligated to call out the poor judgment of Jared Yuen.”
The videos have been viewed millions of times, prompting widespread calls for the San Jose Police Department to fire the officer in question. Many called on San Jose Police Chief Edgardo Garcia to fire Yuen over Twitter. Garcia responded to the incident with a tweet, writing, “We’re angry as well, and we’ve made that clear. We’ve allowed peaceful protest. But we will not tolerate lawlessness.”
According to ABC7, Garcia said in a news conference, “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.”
According to Diep, Officer Yuen was reassigned to off-street duty pending an internal investigation. Many protesters have reiterated the call to fire Yuen for his actions and comments during the rally.
Videos of Aggressive & Violent Police Behavior Have Continued to Surface Throughout the Protests
On June 1, Leandro Oliva, an employee at The Intercept, shared a video on Twitter of a police officer telling a woman that, “what’s gonna happen is we’re gonna start beating the fuck out of you” when the curfew is in effect later that day. Oliva claims the officer was on duty in Denver. His badge is not visible in the video.
In another video, police fire on a car parked several yards away as the driver screams that there’s a pregnant woman in the car. On May 30, a video depicting police officers tasing and violently arresting two Atlanta students was caught on live television. The officers were fired for the use of excessive force the following day.
Chief Garcia Demanded Professionalism and Humanity from Recruits in an Online Video
The video was recorded during a lecture to SJPD recruits in the wake of George Floyd’s death and was posted to Chief Garcia’s twitter page. The video has over 10,000 views.
“When we arrest the evil of this city that exists,” Garcia begins, “we don’t treat them professionally because we think they’re professional. We treat them professionally because we’re professional.”
“It really doesn’t matter to me with regards to what this individual did, or what the coroner’s report later on- what happened there was inexcusable,” Garcia continues. “And to me, it’s not about training, it’s about what’s in your heart… if you have malice in your heart, it doesn’t matter how you’re trained.”
In response to questions about Officer Yuen from San Jose Inside, Chief Garcia wrote, “Although I believe my officers acted bravely and professionally protecting their city,” he said, “I can assure the community that the behavior depicted will be thoroughly investigated and dealt with appropriately.”
Garcia added, “I wasn’t happy with what was depicted. I understand it was a chaotic scene, but we have to keep our emotions in check.”