Several community leaders protested at the trial of Robert Branch at the Hall of Justice Thursday.
Branch recorded cellphone video of a May 2015 traffic stop claiming that the detective, who was not in uniform and was driving an unmarked car, did not identify himself and began to choke him for no reason.
The prosecution alleged in December Branch was resisting arrest and threatened the officer with tear gas during the incident in Del Cerro.
Deputy District Attorney (DDA) Michael Runyon said the altercation started well before Branch began recording, “when the defendant almost struck his vehicle due to his speeding and erratic driving.” At that point, the detective began to follow him Runyon said in court previously.
Rev. Shane Harris and the National Action Network led about a dozen protesters one day before a preliminary exam for Branch who is the defendant.
The protesters said they are concerned about District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’ stance on some issues in the minority community and the criminalization of communities of color.
The rally was held in front of the Hall of Justice Thursday afternoon. Branch is also suing the Sheriff's Department.
Rev. Harris is also calling for Dumanis to release the tapes from a fight at Lincoln Park High School on February 26 in which police had to intervene.