News

SF homeless pair say deputies offered hush goodies after beating

Vivian Ho and Evan Sernoffsky, San Francisco Chronicle, March 29, 2016
A San Francisco homeless couple said they watched Alameda County sheriffs deputies who had chased an auto theft suspect into the city severely beat the defenseless man with batons in an alley, and were then given the wounded mans cash and jewelry as "hush goodies" by a deputy at the scene. Jerome Allen and his partner, 31-year-old Haley Harris, said in interviews Tuesday that they were in a tent on Stevenson Street in the citys Mission District on Nov. 12 when they witnessed the now widely publicized beating of Stanislav Petrov by deputies Luis Santamaria and Paul Wieber that was captured on video and is the subject of multiple investigations. "They gave me his gold chain, his cigarettes, some change and some other stuff," Allen, 50, said at a city shelter where he is staying. "They saw my eyes pop out of my head when I saw that chain. They didnt just decide to give it to me common sense is it was hush goodies." Alameda County sheriffs officials said the allegation is under investigation, and that a 20-year-veteran deputy implicated in the couples account has been placed on paid administrative leave. At a news conference, Sheriff Greg Ahern said his agency had just learned of the account through media reports and Petrovs attorneys. While he found the video of the beating "disturbing," Ahern said, the allegation of theft and bribery was "one of the most horrific things Ive heard." He did not identify the deputy but indicated he was not one of the two men who struck Petrov with their batons. ... This was probably the worst law enforcement beating on video that weve seen since Rodney King, Haddad said at a news conference at his office in Oakland. He said that even though the camera pointed at the alley was not cutting-edge and did not record continuously, with 10-second pauses in the footage, "We can count approximately 40 or more blows. Theyre aiming for Stanislavs head, which is the use of deadly force, and Stanislav is trying to protect himself with his hands. As a result, his hands were crushed and his head was damaged and he sustained major injuries." Haddad said he believes other deputies at the scene "participated in a code of silence concerning the unlawful conduct of fellow law enforcement officers" by authoring false police reports and not activating their body cameras at the time of the incident. "You dont turn cameras on when you know youre committing a crime," he said. Alameda County sheriffs officials said Tuesday that Wieber accidentally activated his body camera and that a second video of the beating exists, but they did not release the footage. They said Santamaria and Wieber have been on paid administrative leave since the incident. San Francisco prosecutors have not decided whether charges are merited.

Read News Article »