Following a leaked police report, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi has repeatedly called on the district attorney to file criminal charges against two deputies involved in a controversial beating in the Mission District last year.
Both officers had their body cameras turned off during the incident, which Adachi described as an “attempt to cover up their misconduct.
Following a high-speed chase that ended in a Mission alleyway, Stanislav Petrov was hit with batons some 30 times by two Alameda county deputies on November 12 of last year. The beating was caught on video, but according to parts of the police report obtained by KTVU, the officers involved say they acted in self-defense.
KTVU reported that Deputies Paul Wieber and Luis Santamaria filed a police report about the November 12 incident that contradicts the video footage that went viral last year.
The Examiner reported yesterday that the deputies claimed Petrov was resisting arrest, causing them to fear for their lives. They said their baton strikes, which sent Petrov to the hospital requiring surgery, “appeared to have little effect.”
“[I was] worried that Deputy Wieber and I could be killed or seriously injured in the alley,” wrote Santamaria, who alongside Wieber followed Petrov onto Stevenson Street after a chase across the Bay Bridge that allegedly began when the 29-year-old man rammed a deputy’s patrol car with a stolen Mercedes in San Leandro. Police later reported finding a loaded gun the vehicle.
Santamaria went on to say that Petrov appeared to be reaching for a weapon while lying on his stomach, while Wieber described feeling “fatigued” and worried that the two officers would not be able to “successfully apprehend Petrov or defend ourselves from an attack.”
A third officer, Darrin Shelton, is later seen stepping into the video and appears to place his foot on Petrov’s head.
“I placed my right boot on Petrov’s left shoulder blade in an attempt to prevent him from spitting blood upward towards me,” wrote Shelton in the police report.
The deputies most likely did not know that they were being filmed by surveillance footage from a nearby business that was pointed down the alley. The video shows Petrov being tackled to the ground, struck by batons repeatedly, and forced back to the ground by both deputies after attempting to get up. At one point, Petrov is seen raising his hands above his head in apparent surrender.
Department policy does not to dictate when officers must have their body cameras switched on, and none of the 11 officers who eventually stepped onto the scene had their cameras rolling.
The video, released by San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi, has spurred two independent investigations, although charges have not been filed. Santamaria and Wieber are currently on paid administrative leave, the Examiner reported.
Adachi was not available for comment, but stated after the incident that he believes that the investigation should go the U.S. attorney for a federal investigation.