California – Two Alameda County sheriff deputies are under ‘investigation’ by the sheriff’s office for beating a suspect with their batons dozens of times in a San Francisco alleyway this week, authorities said Saturday.
The San Francisco Public Defender’s office released the video Friday night after witnesses to the arrest contacted them with concerns. Public Defender Jeff Adachi said the two deputies clearly used excessive force in an encounter that was “reminiscent of Rodney King.”
Surveillance footage a witness gave the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office shows Petrov stop in the alleyway near Clinton Park and Stevenson Street. He is then tackled by a deputy, who holds him down as a second deputy strikes him repeatedly with a police baton. Petrov was hit about 30 times, sometimes while laying on the ground and other times while kneeling as the officers can be heard shouting, “get on the ground.”
“You see a shocking and brutal attack on a man that appears not to be resisting,” said Tamara Aparton, a public defender’s office spokeswoman. “It’s dismaying to see him lying there bleeding and calling for help and not getting it for a while.”
Sgt. J.D. Nelson, a spokesman for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, said the encounter captured on video was the culmination of a 38-minute car chase from the East Bay that went from San Leandro, to Oakland, through the streets of Oakland, onto the freeway, over the Bay Bridge and through downtown San Francisco and finally onto Stevenson Street, where the man crashes his car and gets out and starts running.
Nelson said the deputies that chase after him believed the man was armed, and investigators later recovered a gun. Nelson said he did not know if the gun was on the man when he was arrested, or elsewhere.
The man was transported to San Francisco General Hospital for treatment and has since been released and booked into custody at Santa Rita Jail.
Note that the video surveillance system records in 10 second chunks, with a gap in between. So the beating was actually twice as long as what is shown in the video.