According to the San Francisco police, officers were called to Steiner and Union St in the city at 11.30pm on Saturday, December 26, following reports of a man trying to break into a home – that man was identified as Ian Murdock. He reportedly fought with the cops, and was given a ticket for two counts of assault and one for obstruction of an officer. The techie had been drinking, according to the police logs. A medic arrived to treat an abrasion to Murdock's forehead, and he was released so he could be taken to hospital.
A few hours later, on Sunday, December 27 at 2.40am, police were called again to reports of Murdock banging on the door of a neighbor at the very same block. A medic arrived to treat him for any injuries at the scene. Next, the cops took Murdock to the county jail where he was held in a cell.
Murdock was bailed later that day, on Sunday, after a bond, said to be $25,000, was paid. He died the next day.
His family has asked people to respect their privacy during this difficult time.
Sources close to the police department said that officers were called in to responded to reports of a man, Ian Murdock, trying to break into a home at the corner of Steiner and Union St at 11.30pm on Saturday, December 26.
Murdock was reportedly drunk and resisted arrest. He was given a ticket for two counts of assault and one for obstruction of an officer. An EMT treated an abrasion on his forehead at the site, and he was taken to a hospital.
At 2:40 AM early Sunday morning, December 27, he was arrested after banging on the door of a neighbor in the same block. It is not clear if he was knocking on the same door he had attempted to enter earlier. A medic treated him there for un-described injuries. Murdock was then arrested and taken to the San Francisco county jail.
On Sunday afternoon, Murdock was bailed out with a $25,000 bond.
On Monday afternoon, December 28, the next day, Murdock started sending increasingly erratic tweets from his Twitter account. The most worrying of all read:
"i'm committing suicide tonight.. do not intervene as i have many stories to tell and do not want them to die with me"
At first people assumed that his Twitter account had been hacked. Having known Murdock and his subsequent death, I believe that he was the author of these tweets.
His Twitter account has since been deleted, but copies of the tweets remain. He wrote that:
"the police here beat me up for knowing [probably an auto-correct for "knocking"] on my neighbor's door.. they sent me to the hospital."
I have been unable to find any San Francisco area hospital with a record of his admission.
Murdock wrote that he had been assaulted by the police, had his clothes ripped off, and was told, "We're the police, we can do whatever the fuck we want." He also wrote:
"they beat the shit out of me twice, then charged me $25,000 to get out of jail for battery against THEM."
Murdock also vented his anger at the police.
"(1/2) The rest of my life will be devoted to fighting against police abuse.. I'm white, I made $1.4 million last year, (2/2) They are uneducated, bitter, and and only interested in power for its own sake. Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org
if you can help. -ian"
After leaving the courtroom, presumably a magistrate court, Murdock tweeted that he had been followed home by the police and assaulted again.
"I'm not committing suicide today. I'll write this all up first, so the police brutality ENDEMIC in this so call free country will be known." He added, "Maybe my suicide at this, you now, a successful business man, not a N****R, will finally bring some attention to this very serious issue."
His last tweet stated:
"I am a white male, make a lot money, pay a lot of money in taxes, and yet their abuse is equally doned out. DO NOT CROSS THEM!?"
He appears to have died that night, Monday, December 28. At the time of this writing, the cause of death still remains unknown.
His death is a great loss to the open-source world. He created Debian, one of the first Linux distributions and still a major distro; he also served as an open-source leader at Sun; as CTO for the Linux Foundation, and as a Docker executive. He will be missed.