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Investigation underway after arrest of man dancing on a California street

Posted at 5:15 PM, Jun 09, 2020

The city manager for Alameda, California, said a formal investigation is underway following the arrest of a man dancing in a street as part of his exercise routine.

The man, Mali Watkins, was charged with resisting arrest. Why he was arrested in the first place is unclear.

On May 23, two officers from Alameda Police approached the man after police received a report that a man was dancing in the street. When police arrived, they discovered Mali dancing in the street.

When asked why he was dancing, Mali stated it was part of his exercise routine.

After Mali began to walk away, videos show officers grabbing Mali by the wrist and detaining him. Mali was told if he resisted, he would be charged with resisting arrest, which is what happened.

The city of Alameda said that the man is a resident of the city and is African American.

“At this time, I do not know the reasons why the initial officers approached the call the way they did. I am hopeful that an investigation will provide better understanding to that question,” City Manager Eric Levitt said.

In the last few days, the city has released body warn camera footage from the incident, in addition to a call into the police’s non-emergency line. Those clips can be viewed here.

Levitt said that the reason video from the incident took two weeks to be released was due to privacy concerns.