A man who was beaten by Alameda, California, deputies after a car chase last November filed a lawsuit this week for police brutality. The lawsuit also accuses the deputies of trying to cover up the attack by offering a homeless man a gold chain to keep quiet.
The New York Daily News reports that Stanislav Petrov, 29, led Alameda County Sheriff’s’ deputies on a 44-mile car chase last November, which ultimately ended with a foot chase down an alley in the Mission District alley. Petrov is accused of stealing the car he fled in.
A surveillance video depicts the officers repeatedly striking Petrov with their batons while he was on the ground. Two of the deputies, Luis Santamaria and Paul Wieber, stated in a report that Petrov was reaching in his waistband, and in fear that he was reaching for a gun, began hitting him to stop him. So far, there’s no indication if Petrov actually had a gun or not.
Petrov and his family claim that it’s a case of police brutality and are now suing the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office. According to the family’s attorney, Michael Haddad, the police tried to cover up their mistakes by taking Petrov’s gold chain from him and offering it to a homeless man who witnessed the attack to keep quiet.
Haddad stated, “This was probably the worst law enforcement beating on video that we’ve seen since Rodney King.”
The homeless man, identified as Jerome Allen, told reporters that at first, he thought the police were setting him up. He claims the officers approached him and asked him if he “liked the show.” The deputies then allegedly gave Allen a Turkish gold chain worth $1,500. Allen said he ended up selling the chain.
Haddad added, “We’ve learned from witnesses that they stole a valuable gold necklace from Stanislav and then they gave it to these witnesses who saw what happened to basically bribe them and silence them.”
Haddad, who called the police attack “outrageous,” stated that Petrov is a mechanic and that the beating was so severe that he’s unable to work because he can’t use his hands.
“This claim is going to put the county on notice that they’re facing a lawsuit for their deputies outrageously beating and attacking Stanislav Petrov.”
Santamaria and Wieber, along with another unidentified deputy, are currently on paid leave while the incident is investigated. Court documents indicate that none of the 11 deputies and two sergeants involved in the attack turned on their body cameras. One deputy turned on his dashboard camera, but it’s still unclear whether it recorded any footage of the attack.
Yet, the surveillance video that caught the officers seems to contradict what they wrote in their initial report. Petrov is struck with the batons as many as 30 times, and his hands are nowhere near his waistband. As the deputies chased Petrov down the alley, he’s seen putting his hands up right before the police reach him, but one deputy quickly tackles him to the ground and hits him in the head a few times with his fists.
While Petrov is on the ground, two deputies, identified as Santamaria and Wieber, start hitting him repeatedly with their nightsticks. Petrov tried to get up while holding his hands over his head, but one officer yells “Get on the f****** ground” and continues to hit him.
Haddad also accuses two of the deputies of taking a “trophy photo” of Petrov while he lay bloodied on the ground. Petrov spent 11 days in the hospital after the beating.
The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department are both investigating the incident. Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahern said that if it’s proven the deputies were at fault, each one of them would be held accountable for police brutality.
“Every baton strike they will have to answer for.”
[Image via Shutterstock]