Paul Miyamoto: "No Regrets" Regarding Video of Prisoner Extractions

The hold music these days at the campaign office for sheriff candidate Paul Miyamoto is "Morning Mood" from Peer Gynt -- a tune immortalized by Bugs Bunny cartoons as the soundtrack of peace and tranquility. But just as Bugs always ruined that mood, a seven-year-old video with a decidedly different soundtrack has tossed a monkey wrench into the waning days of election season.

The video, posted above, has been circulated by San Francisco lawyer Ben Rosenfeld, who represented demonstrators arrested after protesting a 2004 biotech conference at Moscone Center. Of the more than 100 protesters, 38 engaged in what Rosenfeld refers to as "jail solidarity," physically refusing to submit to the booking process -- which led to the extraction process above, filmed by the sheriffs themselves.  

Reviewing the ugly footage, Miyamoto told SF Weekly he has no regrets regarding the way the event unfolded. What's "ironic," he adds, is that he and his fellow deputies "were trying to get them out of jail. We are trying to release them." After booking, the protesters were released -- and, in the end, none of them were charged.

Miyamoto says the goal was to individually remove each protester without using projectiles, blunt objects, or pepper spray. "We did know they would use passive resistance, so you'll see every time we pull someone out we place them on a wheelchair or gurney. We really were trying to minimize the use of force." He pauses. "Unfortunately, the sound effects were rather dramatic."

Paul Miyamoto poses at the vista point where every candidate for office in San Francisco has his or her photo snapped
This process, he says, took up to six hours. And, he acknowledges, it is not fun to watch. "I understand that. But there are not too many alternatives. If you have to remove someone from a jail cell physically, that was probably the least intrusive way."

Rosenfeld's clients sued the city, alleging excessive force -- this internal video was obtained by the plaintiffs during that time. The suit ended with the city settling for $25,000 and acknowledging no wrongdoing.

Miyamoto claimed he's not bothered by the video going public. "I ask people to take a look and judge for themselves. This is a documentation of some of the occurrences of what happens in a jail. This is something you have to deal with. This only solidifies how professionally we act when facing a situation that calls for some kind of action.

"This reflects well on the department."

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You want prisoners to have solidarity and continue their demonstration in jail? You want them to take control of the jail? You've forgotten your history and you are perpetuating it to reoccur in the future.

Thank you Capt Miyamoto for preventing prisoners from taking control of your jail. Your leadership probably saved countless lives. Excellent work. You've got my vote.

Jeff D.
Jeff D.

That's about the most entertaining thing I've ever seen.  And Hell yes, that's what I want.


Ben Rosenfeld just a thug trying to gain spotlight on himself!!! I would like to see him remove people who don't want to leave the jail!!!


The video only proves that minimum force was utilized during the incident. Great job Captain Miyamoto, once again deputies face a no win situation (in the eyes of the public) and handle it like true professionals.

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