A teenager whose arrest after riding a bicycle on a Merced sidewalk was videotaped and gained wide attention faces up to a year in jail if he is convicted of a misdemeanor count of resisting arrest, according to authorities.
Jordan Lloyd, 19, of Merced, was riding a bike about 5:25 p.m. on April 28 on Main Street between Canal Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way, according to police, and did not comply with commands from officers. A video of his arrest filmed by a bystander has been circulated on YouTube.
The 18-year-old filming the arrest on his cellphone, Bryce Snell, was arrested for allegedly obstructing an arrest, but has not been charged. Both men have been released from custody.
A police report written by arresting Officer Naomi Martinez says she asked for Lloyd’s identification because she intended to write him a ticket for riding a bike on the sidewalk. The cellphone video of the incident does not show the initial stop but captures the officer asking for the man’s ID as he insists he’s done nothing wrong.
“You’re fixing to arrest me for riding on the sidewalk?” Lloyd says in the video.
Armando Lope, Lloyd’s public defender, declined to discuss the details of the case with the Sun-Star other than to say his client did nothing wrong.
“I believe this case is going to have to go to jury trial,” Lope said Friday. “And once the jury hears the evidence, sees the video, they’re going to find that Mr. Lloyd didn’t commit a crime.”
In the video, the cyclist attempts to ride away while the officer blocks his path, and then she attempts to apply handcuffs. Lloyd pulls his hands away, saying, “Don’t touch me.”
You’re fixing to arrest me for riding on the sidewalk?
Jordan Lloyd, 19, the cyclist, said in the video
After repeated commands by the officer, Lloyd appears to comply with Martinez as she moves to put his hands behind his back. Then a second officer, Jeff Gonzales, steps into the camera’s view and places his hands around Lloyd’s neck.
Gonzales wrote in his account of the events that he was putting his thumb on a “known pressure point” under Lloyd’s jaw. He wrote that Lloyd was “actively resisting” the other officer as he arrived. Gonzales used his forearm “against the neck area” of Lloyd to control him, according to his report.
Lloyd, who is black, is heard saying in the video, “This is what they do to black people.”
Gonzales uses his knee on the back of Lloyd’s leg to get him to sit on the ground, which is recorded both in the video and in the officer’s report.
The video abruptly cuts off as Officer William Avery grabs Snell. The officer “attempted to swing him away from” Gonzales and Snell fell to the ground, according to Avery’s report. The officers argue that the man was not complying with commands to back away.
Snell reportedly threw his cellphone with the video to another bystander. The Sun-Star was unable to find a phone number listed for Snell.
Rob Carroll, Merced County chief deputy district attorney, said Snell would not be charged.
“The evidence did not support charging the person who was doing the filming,” he told the Sun-Star.
The maximum penalty for a misdemeanor conviction would be a year in county jail, Carroll said.
I believe this case is going to have to go to jury trial. And, once the jury hears the evidence, sees the video, they’re going to find that Mr. Lloyd didn’t commit a crime.
Armando Lope, Lloyd’s public defender
Capt. Bimley West said the Merced Police Department has been pressured lately to patrol downtown in an attempt to make shop owners and visitors feel safer. West said there are signs posted along Main Street notifying cyclists to stay off the sidewalk. He also noted that cyclists are allowed to use the road equally with cars in certain blocks of Main Street.
West said officers enforce ordinances and the restrictions on bicycles in downtown are nothing new.
“I understand people don’t like it,” he said. “It’s not a big deal. Anybody with any decency and common sense would know it’s for safety.”
Lloyd is scheduled to appear in Merced Superior Court on July 6, according to court records.