Two Alameda County deputies are under investigation for beating a suspect in what is being called “reminiscent of Rodney King”.
The two still unnamed deputies chased the suspect, identified as Stanislav Petrov, for more than 30 minutes Thursday morning. Petrov ultimately crashed his car and ran into an alleyway in the Mission district of San Francisco.
Footage from a security camera appears to show Petrov stop in the alleyway before being tackled by a deputy. That deputy proceeds to punch the man twice while still on the ground.
He then appears to hold Petrov down as the second deputy pulls out his police baton and starts striking repeatedly. The video then jumps forward 10 seconds to show both deputies using their batons on the man as he screams for help.
There are more than 30 total strikes on Petrov from the two deputies, despite skipping every other 10 second interval.
“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.”
“We are obviously concerned about what’s depicted in the video,” Sergeant Ray Kelly of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said Saturday. “We ordered an immediate investigation.”
Jeff Adachi, also from the Public Defender’s Office said the attack was “reminiscent of Rodney King”.
“I don’t see any reason why he couldn’t be handcuffed and taken into custody. The blows, after they took him to the ground, were excessive by any measure, any standard. It’s shocking to see,” Adachi said.
The Rodney King incident famously lead wide scale riots and looting throughout Los Angeles, only stopping when the National Guard was called in and put soldiers on the ground.
The incident started more than 30 miles away, according to the San Jose Mercury News:
It all began at about 1:30 a.m. Thursday as police patrolling a motel in the 17200 block of Foothill Boulevard in San Leandro spotted a stolen 2015 Mercedes, Kelly said. As police tried to stop the driver, he sped toward a deputy, hitting a patrol car and pushing it into a deputy. The deputy was injured, authorities said.
The driver, identified as Petrov, rammed a second patrol car before leading police on a chase along Interstate 580 through Oakland and across the Bay Bridge into San Francisco, Kelly said. During the 40-mile pursuit, Petrov hit speeds of 100 mph. The car chase reportedly ended when Petrov hit a parked car in the Mission district and took off on foot.
Police later found a loaded gun in the stolen Mercedes, Kelly said. Petrov was taken to a hospital to be treated for injuries.
One law enforcement officer we spoke to said, “Rodney King was different than this. Unless there is something going on that is not plainly visible in the video, those first two cops were way worse than the cops in Rodney King.”