Still from the video released by SF Public Defender's Office

The San Francisco Public Defender released a video this evening showing two Alameda County Sheriff’s deputies chasing a man into a Mission District alley, tackling him to the ground, and then striking him repeatedly with batons.

After enduring multiple blows, the man attempts several times to get up, but is beaten by the two deputies until more law enforcement officers, a mix of sheriff’s deputies and SFPD officers, arrive on scene. At that point the man is subdued and appears to get handcuffed.

“On the ground!” one of the deputies can be heard shouting. Later, someone shouts “Get ‘em behind your back! Do not move!”

JD Nelson, a spokesperson for the Alameda County Sheriff’s office, said the sheriff’s deputies first encountered the man inside a stolen vehicle at a Travelers Inn in San Leandro at about 1:30 a.m. on Thursday. When the deputies went to make contact with the driver, he put his car into reverse and accelerated, smashing into two patrol cars, disabling one of the patrol cars and knocking a deputy onto the ground.

The deputies then pursued the man in a 38-minute chase through Oakland, across the Bay Bridge, and into San Francisco, where the car ultimately crashed somewhere on Stevenson street. The man in the stolen car took off running, and deputies, who Nelson said had seen a gun in the man’s car, chased after him. Shortly thereafter, they appear on video. After some time they are joined by additional deputies and San Francisco Police officers. 

Nelson said the man had three felony warrants and a misdemeanor warrant, and that the deputies believe he was on some sort of stimulant at the time. The man was treated at San Francisco General Hospital for a broken wrist, and is now in Santa Rita jail in Alameda County.

Nelson said he did not know exactly where the incident in the video takes place, but the Examiner reports it took place at Clinton Park near its intersection with Valencia Street. Public Defender spokesperson Tamara Aparton said her office received the video from several witnesses to the incident, who contacted the defender out of concern about police brutality.

“He had just ditched the car, and they were apparently all ramped up from the chase and beat him what looks like pretty savagely,” Aparton said. “At one point, and witnesses said this too, one of the officers, and I don’t know who it is, is stepping on his neck and head.” 

Aparton also noted that the video is recorded in ten-second segments, which omit every other ten seconds, so the time elapsed during the incident is actually twice what is shown. She said that while the Public Defender is not immediately planning any action, they are seeking information and hoping for an investigation, which Nelson indicated was underway.

“Going forward the Sheriff in Alameda County has ordered our internal affairs to start an investigation immediately,” Nelson said.

The video can be seen below, but – a warning – it is violent.

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  1. note to self, don’t steal cars, attempt to run over police, have police chase me in car and then run from police. if i do that i might get beaten or worse. easy rules to follow for life people.