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Alameda Sheriff Launches Probe Into Deputies' Beating of Car Theft Suspect

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Updated Saturday, Nov. 14

Update 8:18 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13:
After the press alerted the Alameda County Sheriff's Department to a video showing two deputies attacking a suspect with repeated overhead nightstick strikes as he is on the ground, the sheriff initiated an "immediate investigation" into the incident, Sgt. Ray Kelly said late Friday evening.

The San Francisco Public Defender's office released the video Friday via Youtube. Kelly confirmed that it shows the end of a pursuit that started across the bay in San Leandro and resulted in the arrest and hospitalization of Stanislav Petrov.

"The sheriff has immediately initiated an internal investigation into this thing," Kelly said. "We’re working on getting an original copy of the video. We’re going to be interviewing officers and other witnesses on scene and trying to piece it all together."


Kelly said the two deputies had not returned to work. He said the department is in the process of determining whether they should be placed on administrative leave or reassigned to non-public contact positions.

"We’re obviously in the early stages," he said.

Original Post 7:50 p.m. Friday Nov. 13:
The San Francisco Public Defender's office has released surveillance video showing two law enforcement officers repeatedly beating a man with batons.

The video posted to the public defender's YouTube site initially identified the officers as San Francisco police, but was recently updated to identify them as Alameda County Sheriff's officers.

"Update: Alameda County Sheriff officers, after chasing a driver across the bridge and then on foot, beat the man with nightsticks in San Francisco's Mission District," the video's caption says.

“It’s extremely disturbing,” Public Defender spokeswoman Tamara Aparton told the San Francisco Examiner. “[The victim] doesn’t appear to be resisting at all. We want to find out the circumstances of his arrest, and the extent of his injures as soon as we can.”

Alameda County Sheriff's Sgt. Ray Kelly said the office was just alerted to the video and is reviewing it. He did confirm Alameda County Sheriff's officers pursued a suspect from San Leandro into San Francisco early Thursday.

The video was shot at the corner of Stevenson Street and Clinton Park, two Mission District alleys, apparently by a security camera.

Kelly said an Alameda County  officer identified a stolen Mercedes in a hotel parking lot and called for backup. When two officers contacted the male driver, he drove into a squad car, injuring an officer's leg.

"He then rammed a second police car and was able to make his way out onto Foothill Boulevard after pushing all the police cars out of the way," Kelly said.

The ensuing pursuit lasted 45 minutes and took a detour through Oakland before resuming over the Bay Bridge, Kelly said.

Kelly identified the suspect pursued by Alameda County deputies into San Francisco as Stanislav Petrov.

"The suspect fled from the car and resisted arrest and was captured and arrested," Kelly said, reading from a report. "He had injures that required him to be admitted into the hospital."

Kelly said officers found a loaded and cocked handgun on the passenger seat of the Mercedes.

The Examiner reports witnesses to the incident contacted the Public Defender’s Office about what they saw and passed along the video.

This report was updated Saturday with information that the two deputies under investigation have not returned to work.

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