Alameda protests after black man arrested for dancing

People in Alameda held a dance party over the weekend in support of  44-year-old Mali Watkins, who was arrested after a woman reported seeing a black man dancing in the street.

Protesters say there was no basis for the May 23 call, and the arrest that followed.

They say Watkins lived in the neighborhood and routinely danced in the street for exercise.

The city of Alameda has released body-cam video of that arrest.


In it, Watkins told the four officers he's exercising and then he tries to leave. But officers tell him, he's not free to go. They eventually put him in handcuffs and cited him for resisting arrest.

So far, Alameda has released five separate body camera recordings of the incident. A sixth recording is expected to be released this week.
 Alameda Vice Mayor John Knox held a town hall meeting online to address the community's concern over Watkins' arrest. The meeting lasted for five hours. 

A total of 176 people joined the call, including council members.

Knox said he's committed to ensuring a full, independent investigation and accountability for those involved.

"I appreciate those who are pushing us to go fast and hard and far," he said. "We are going to continue to need to have that pressure on us, not that because we don't want to do it, but because it's important that our community is united."