Beloved Cyclist "Chuey" Munkanta Beaten Unconscious and Arrested By Police

Kachusha “Chuey” Munkanta is one of the most beloved figures in the San Francisco cycling community.  He's known internationally for his hand-made cycling caps, made and sold right here in the Mission.  And everyone, from MASH to PD Bird, know him to be a “peaceful” and “non-violent” person.  He even delivers coffee, by bike, for De La Paz Coffee Roasters—a company undeniably of peace.

So it's with great shock and disgust that we learn of his arrest and police beating while trying to monitor SFPD's treatment of Latinos.  A close friend of his forwarded along his story:

Thursday night/ Friday morning Chuey stopped on the side of the street in the Mission when he saw the cops having 4 Latinos lined up against a gate. He stopped to make sure the youth were being fairly treated.

The cops then asked him to cross the street, when Chuey said he couldn't observe from across the street. They (2-3 cops) jumped him as he was hugging his bike. They wrestled him to the ground then continued to push him into the ground, twisting his arm, slamming his head into the ground. He was in jail for almost 24 hours and released after his family paid bail. They charged him with 3 felonies for assaulting 3 cops with enough force to cause grave bodily harm and  2 misdemeanors for resisting arrest.

Chuey was released on $150,000 bail and arraigned yesterday afternoon at the Superior Court of California, where he was issued a public defender.  Chuey is also faced with steep medical costs after having to visit the ER for his injuries, where doctors advised him to have a cat scan.

Currently, there is no fundraiser planned to aid in his defense, but friends are encouraging people to purchase his caps, helping support him financially in any way possible.  You can get his caps online at Mission Bicycle or MASH (who will donate all proceeds to his defense), or in person at Box Dog Bikes or Pushbike.

Update: Roaring Mouse Cycles are also donating their cut of Chuey caps to his legal aid. All Hail the Black Market is also donating proceeds from certain t-shirt sales.

Update II: Because people are questioning the accuracy and “bias” of this post, we feel we must remind readers that SFPD does not comment on “ongoing investigations.”

Update III: Stevil writes in letting us know that friends have begun raising money to aid in his defense on Indiegogo.

Comments (63)

This is disgusting. Anyone who knows this man should be outraged. This could and might happen to anyone of us and should concern this community tremendously . #FreeChuey Police want and need our help to fight crime,but also have an obligation to be held accountable for all the actions while serving the public at large. Cop Watching is for the safety of the public AS WELL AS FOR THE SAFETY OF OUR POLICE OFFICERS. To attack an upstanding citizen of this city for simply making sure that everyone was being held accountable is ridiculous. Please take time to contact your local supervisor,the media and even the police to voice your concerns over this matter.

true… sadly many ppl who join the cop force have pre existing control and anger issues, hence why they chose that line of work… there fore its nearly inevitable that such incident will happen … its sad .. beyond sad it is shameful that the ppl who are there to protect us in times of nee are this stupid, angry, and plain nasty to us the population … :(

I want a cap that says “Fuck the Police”

This is inexcusable and something must be done. Very sad to hear about this brutality.

Horrible. A truly peaceful man. Got a bunch o’ Chuey caps here at Roaring Mouse if anyone looking to buy some to support Chuey. Will wave my cut of the caps, and make sure ALL proceeds go to Chuey.

Chris at Roaring Mouse Cycles. 934 Mason Street, in the Presidio.

A peaceful man who assaults the police. Please fuck off until the whole story come out.

this sucks! chuey is a chill dude. he custom-made/donated caps for our cycling team when we did AIDS/Lifecycle. I hope a benefit gets organized, i will support!

I am concerned too. While there is some gang activity in the perimeter of the mission, simply being Latino does not automatically make a person a gang banger. I think the cops automatically assume. Kudos to Chuey for caring. It is inexcusable for punks on a power trip to be wearing a badge, which is what this looks like to me. I hope he recovers and that he is undaunted in his quest to do the right thing for those who need an assist.

Cops in SF have a hard enough job without every self proclaimed “freedom fighter” stopping and interjecting into their business. I feel for the guy in question cause it sounds like he had good intentions, but…. do what the cops say. In this case cross the fucking street. It may seem like they are being X or Y., but there job is the absolute hardest possibly in country, lacking any perspective are the people discussing it right now. Everyone hates copes until you need one, and its possible that someone needed one at the moment of this interaction. They are not robots, they are people , expected to act like rigid sentinels. They are not supported by the community, the city, and expected to essentially control a wandering mob of homeless and mentally ill, all while being completely debased financially. Just get a grip on reality.

Okay, since this page isn’t set up the way it appears, to show under the post you select, my reply was specifically to d-lover.

There is more to this story. Why don’t you give the whole thing? Edited reporting is real bad…

It’s really intriguing to me how deep the hatred for police runs in this town. Certainly it sounds unjustified and wrong what happened to Chuey. But ask yourself who or what it serves to reflexively indulge in slurs like “piglover”. Even terms like “disgusting” — when used to refer to people rather than their actions — reinforce demonization of the Other, and give a cheap rush of dubious solidarity to haters.

Can we honor the peace-loving way of Chuey by focussing more on concern and support for him, the Latino youths he was trying to serve, and the spirit of trying to make things better? If you must hate, I hope that it is a result of a real scar that you’ve endured, as opposed to something you appropriated from someone else, or some way of showing you care. And I hope it heals.

Peace, y’all.

Given the track record of American cops, I have no sympathy for people who end up in this situation. Some cops repeatedly demonstrate that they have little regard for the lives of others; riding up on your bicycle and informing the cops that you’re “monitoring” them, refusing their order to cross the street … that’s just asking for it. You fly too close, you get burned.

No sympathizing with what the cops did here, but also no sympathizing with the “victim”. It’s like walking up to a drug dealer and saying “I’m watching you to make sure you don’t rip off your customers”. What the fuck do you think is going to happen?

Observing (and even recording) police activity in public is 100% legal in the state of California, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the cops doing their job…doesn’t matter what they say or threaten you with, that’s the law. Therefore, unless Chuey was trying to de-arrest four kids singlehandedly (which doesn’t sound like what he was trying to do) the cops fucked up….kind of like the time I got my ass kicked over something I should have simply been written a ticket for. No love here for the SFPD.

It shouldn’t surprise me when citizens defend police violence against other citizens, but it always does for some reason. I hope Chuey gets better.

This is a joke. I love how all these fools think Chuey guy did nothing wrong. They charged the guy with 3 felonies. Obviously he did something fairly serious. All the tards need to relax until we hear the other side of the story.

The only time I got beat up by the cops I deserved it.

I have a real difficult time believing the Police needed to use this kind of force.

This is so unfair and disgusting. It infuriates me the way bad cops can get away with beaten anyone and people will also be fucked up and pay bails and medical costs.

How many caps do you have to sell to cover the 150grand bail plus medical expenses? Can someone set up a paypal to help him and his family, I happily donate some money.

Hang in the Chuey. Big love from London.

Repn415 you have got to be the biggest most immature TOOL that walks this planet… I bet your a dumbass cop too or wish you could be one but don’t have half a brain to make it… Stop insulting people. Innocent or guilty beating a guy unconscious is wrong. What if they did it to your homeboy for no reason? Then what would you say, cops are racist? Bla bla bla… Shut up already

I wouldn’t take the ridiculous pro-cop comments here too seriously- pretty sure there people from the PBA or just cops who take it upon themselves to troll police brutality related news stories and bully the commenters who are rightly upset about the bullshit cops pull on us and our loved ones every day. Violence is all they know.

You can tell a site has a wide audience and following when the bootlickers show up to slag people off.

Well done Kev.

Chuey is a victim here and he is about to be further victimized by the justice system unless we stand up and demand that these charges be dropped immediately.

Is there a Canadian Company that sells this? Or a way to avoid paying duties to get it shipped to Canada? The irony of paying the gov for me to get this that is something I’d like to avoid.

Chuey’s a great, friendly guy, and I highly doubt that he was doing anything besides making sure everything was on the up and up. This kind of crap makes me want to punch every cop in the balls. With a 2x4. Ugh.

I am sure that Chuey is a great guy. And I am sure that SFPD that works the Mission is more keyed up than the average cop with a need to flex their authority. And in no way did this guy deserve a beating. BUT .. You cant say that his behavior wasnt risky. Are you really allowed to go up to the police in the middle of a line up (these could have been dangerous psychos and the police were afraid they had friends with weapons) and start nosing around? Honestly, the thought of a dude walking up and pronouncing himself the supervisor of proper SFPD procedure and then refusing to move because he doesnt have a good view sounds totally idiotic. What did he expect? These are cops and they are under duress. Does that mean they have a free pass to act like fucking pyschos? No. But I am not going to test them and neither should you.

Guys, life is not always fair. Some cops are going to be pitbull crazies. Dont fck with them and you wont catch a boot to the fucking head. Wise up

Police all across this country have anger and other behavioral issues. Big town cops to small town pigs, they’re all fucking corrupt and prone to inane violence. When are the people going to say “ENOUGH” and fight back?

“Fuck the Police” never sounded better. Better yet, “cop killer” sounds good too.

Good God, I am sorry I read these comments. The level of “discourse” on this blog is horrifying. Every single one of you is a goddamn ape - resorting to name-calling and insulting each other’s intelligence (news flash: NONE of you are smart) and batting this pithy secondhand account back and forth like kittens fighting over a ball of yarn. I haven’t seen this much idiocy on a fucking Fox Nation board.

The police are the racist lieutenants of the banks and their political bureaucrats. If we let them pull this shit in San Francisco, what’s gonna happen in Vallejo, Stockton, or rural Oklahoma? Let’s organize for our city. This is a working-class, leftist, people of color city. Go Giants!

I hate to say it but I don’t at the same time. If the people don’t all rise up and stand behind each other, this will never stop. Here’s and idea, screw your political beliefs and step into the realm of the Occupy Protestors, who get this treatment DAILY and NOTHING happens to the police. If you’re not going to help Occupy stop it, you’re enabling these kinds of police behaviors.

According to the oracle known as 7x7, his last name is spelled Munkanta.

1. Who told him he’s being charged, the cops or the DA? If it was the cops, it’s an intimidation tactic. SFPD doesn’t have the power to charge anyone, they forward evidence to the DA and his office decides whether to press charges.

2. If a cop told me to cross the street, I’d cross the street. You can still observe from the other side of the street. Not sure where not complying with an order like that puts you, legally.

3. If this happened the way we’re hearing, I hope Mr Munkanta finds himself a lawyer who can tackle this pro-bono and sues them for their teeth. Any policeman who thinks it’s okay to beat up bystanders is out of his mind.

The only thing that’s scarier and sadder than Chuey getting hurt are these comments from a mob incapable of critical thinking who want to kill every cop in my city.

For seven years I ate lunch with Jeff Dahmer, nicest kindest guy you could of worked with.

Just so you know when I go to buy a hat it’s saying your sold out, but perhaps if you have a link to where people can still donate, Chuay could still benefit

I hate to say it but it might be because he is black. It is known that cops treat minorities different than whites and black folks get the full hilt.

One side of the story guys.

I am not in no way defending the cops because I was not there. But, to be fair when you roll up on cops questioning someone there is probably a good reason they are there doing that. I’m saddened this happened to what seems to be a very sweet guy, but we were not there and have no idea what he did to provoke this. For all we know he instigated them and things escalated. The cops do have the right to use force, we should not forget this.

2 morals of the story here:

• Don’t fuck with the cops when they are doing something. It goes to say when someone is doing their job, they probably don’t want to hear how to do it better from the peanut gallery.

• Health Insurance…..We all need it. Universal health care, private, whatever. If you don’t have it you gamble with your life.

Here’s a parting thought, when a rapist is about to murder your girlfriend and someone calls the cops are you going to give a fuck if they beat up some hipster once upon a time? Probably not. They are there to do the a job no-one else would have the balls to do. Show some respect.

Well, he did not roll up on cops. He merely watched what was happening and did not seem from the post that he questioned them but doing what was within his legal right to do. To observe the cops as they perform there action and as long as he is not in the way, he is within his right to observe the police. I am basing my opinion to squarely on the post of what happened. You can watch cops do their job but you cannot obstruct or be in the way. If the cops approached him and attacked because he was observing, then they are in the wrong. There is no reason for the cops to consider him dangerous unless he attacked them and it seems he didn’t but I think they did this to him because, he was black.

If he qualified for a Public Defender, he’ll qualify for medi-cal and get his healthcare taken care of. He doesn’t have a legal defense fund if he’s assigned a PD. Are they trying to raise money to get him private counsel?

First, you do not have to be in the way for the cops to attack you. Two, minority cops will attack people that are the same race as them because the perception that this person may be hostile, because of his race. Three, obviously you are taking sides on the cops and assuming that he must have done something to provoke them. We both do not know really what happen and I am basing my comments on the post above but I chose assume that the Chuey is innocent based on how blacks are viewed and treated in this society presently and historically.

Well if it is truly race motivated why are you on a message board complaining about it? Contact the News, The ACLU or Al Sharpton. IF it truly was race driven then there should be some supporting facts. Correct? Any witnesses besides Chuey that can corroborate his side of the story?

Am I taking sides? I dont know. But, I do respect the law and what they do for us every day. I also respect cyclists, I am one. But I do not respect people threatening people or making false accusations. When I read all the cop killer comments I get really sad that people out here have no clue what really happens behind the scenes of this city. A lot of bad shit happens daily we never hear about. If that were to spill over into our lives we would be fucked. So yes I have the cops backs because they have mine.

This is the dumbest thing I have ever read. SF has the coolest Cops on earth. Have you guys lived anywhere else? Who is dumb enough to go fuck with the police while they are right in the middle of something? They don’t know who the fuck you are or what your intentions are. Let me guess this shit happened at like one in the morning and peaceful bike guy had one to many PBRs? Check this out hipsters just cause you got the right of way or you were not breaking the law, do you really want to tell everyone that from a hospital bed? Time to grow up kids. Shit happens. Best you can do is to watch your step. Life’s short. Well it will be long for this cat cause he’s going to prison. Yeah yeah this cat was an angel who loved everyone and only drank free trade coffee and never broke a law but he sure did get his dumb ass beat. Should have just gone home.

Kevin Montgomery, who told you this story second-hand? Has Chuey himself told this story to legit media? Can anyone point to a news piece about it? Has he explained or spoken to the felonies he’s been charged with? Has a police report or news report or any report of credibility been released about this? Does Chuey have any idea what is being said and done on his behalf?

How is it so many people have commented on this when basically no facts are known?

Don’t get me wrong, I understand everyone wants to support our friend (I know Chuey, too), but what is with the vitriol and escalation when you don’t even have a full or factual story?

I’m sorry but this is all Lance Armstrongs fault for doping.

Im a troll government spy trying to muddle the issue

Dear Chuy,
I shall encourage everyone I know to purchase All Hail the Black Market’s ‘I don’t fuck around, but when I do, I don’t fuck around.’ sticker in honor of you.

Fuck the assholes who did this. How many of them have PTSD from the wars? Such violent jerks.

So is there any situation where the cops did ok? Wrong thread probably.

I call bullshit. He dreams of getting beaten by the police so you fucks can give him the attention he craves. He inserted himself in a situation that was a normal arrest and his hero complex could have gotten someone killed. He had no idea what those 4 individuals were being arrested for. He’s a damage to the cause.

White people struggle to believe that this sort of thing happens because it WOULDN’T happen to them. That is white privilege and, as a white person I know, it’s painful to be exposed to the underlying truth–the reality of which we are typically able to be blissfully unaware–that there is profound injustice and people are treated differently according to their race. Most white people are raised in a family/community/culture where they receive messages cops are people they can trust, individuals to turn to in times of need. And due to their status in society, when white people interact with the police this attitude is generally confirmed. This has been true for me. However, the fact is that there are good cops and bad cops and bad cops act out brutally against innocent others with less social power. I don’t know what happened. I wasn’t there and neither were you but ask yourself, why is it so hard to believe?

Cops are full of shit. Same thing happened to me while just observing an arrest.

umm, are you a woman ? I will bet a million dollars “the same thing” did not happen to you. so much white guilt on this board its crazy. which is not to say that we dont have race issues in this country and subsequent instances of cracker cop craziness) .. its also not to say that we should not rally for justice.. but, seriously, the naivete of the UA reader community is once again perplexing. you are asking for trouble by sticking your nose in a volatile situation. i mean did he observe abuses? if so, he should try to witness whats going on. if not, he is just antagonizing the cops. why dont you guys in the mission all start interfering with police work and then see how fast they respond next time theres a gun-wielding crazy on your sidewalk. they’l probably be drawing straws to see who will go bc they are more afraid of the white pussy mob

Until someone you know well gets beaten up by police, you usually can’t believe this could happen without cause. But then it happens, and it changes your perspective on police forever. For me, it was seeing my ex-girlfriend’s arms, face, shoulders, and legs covered in bruises from a cop who cornered her in a doorway off the just off protest route. He beat her for a least a minute despite her begging him to cuff and arrest her instead. She was visiting me in the hospital for something totally unrelated. I felt like she should have been the one lying in that hospital bed. And I tell that story as someone who has before and after that incident worked closely with neighborhood police, been on a first name basis, and liked them very much. Anger is a police officer’s worst enemy. It takes a cool head, integrity, and good leadership from above to keep officers from using unnecessary force.

Because public defenders in SF are actually great lawyers, why is he raising money for a private lawyer? The cost for a good private attorney would seem to be prohibitive, given that he needs to raise the funds. Furthermore, raising a fairly large sum may even jeopardize his ability to qualify for a public defender since it may be determined that he could afford private (though crappy) counsel. To be sure, I’m not familiar with the precise income and asset requirements for qualifying for free counsel, but Chuey should be aware that it could be an issue.

As a long-time Mission resident, self-policing is often needed unfortunately. There are plenty of great cops in the district—and plenty of bad ones—just not enough regardless. But also knowing Kachusha for close to 15 years (ever since we all lived in the Panhandle), he’s simply not capable of what he’s been accused of. Let’s all hope some folks with the SFPD are held accountable here.

Hi SF Folk,

Matt with Bikes & Beats here. We had a fundraiser for SF Yellow Bike Project scheduled for Friday, November 9th at Baobab Village and in light of this unfortunate incident, SFYBP has graciously agreed to share the night’s proceeds with Chuey’s recovery fund. Details on the event are available here:

If you’d like to help with the event (volunteering, donating door prizes, etc) please drop me a line!

matthaze aaaat geemail

Sup..this why I am moving to SEATTLE




idiots in SF.

I knew Chuey as a high school student in Philadelphia. He was a fine, intelligent student at a Prep school in Philadelphia. He went to a school where the motto was “Man for Others”. He saw something that was not right in San Fancisco and did what his instinct knew was right. He stood up for the underdog. Don’t judge someone until you know him.


Greetings from Ohio! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to check out your website on my
iphone during lunch break. I love the info you provide here and can’t wait
to take a look when I get home. I’m shocked at how fast your blog loaded on my cell phone ..
I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, awesome blog!