SAN JOSE, CA (KPIX/CNN) – A motivational speaker was invited to give a commencement speech as San Jose State University, and a few hours later, he says police beat him up.
"They threw me to the ground and you can see in the video, picking me up again to throw me back on the ground and then what gives [police] some right to then pull out a baton," Nate Howard said.
Howard, 23, says he had just given a speech at San Jose State’s black graduation ceremony.
"I'm a visitor in San Jose, I didn't feel that treatment - I was looked at as another brother with dreads causing trouble," Howard said.
Howard says they celebrated at a nightclub, and things got messy as officers cited his friend for public urination. Howard is a motivational speaker who graduated from USC. He says he was simply standing up for himself when the cops forced his hands behind his back.
He says the incident, captured on video and posted on YouTube, has left him badly bruised and traumatized.
“There’s fear of the media when we play this idea of ‘is he using the race card?’ Yes,” Howard said. “I’m going to speak out at the idea that we’re not in post-racial America.”
With the support of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, he’s filed a complaint with the city’s independent police auditor.
“If any of these allegations are sustained that mean found to be true, then any officers that get sustained allegations will be disciplined," independent police auditor LaDoris Cordell said.
Howard said he doesn't have anything against San Jose police, what he wants is an apology.
This isn't the first time Howard has accused officers of excessive force. Last year, he said he was manhandled by the LAPD outside a party he threw.
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