SAN FRANCISCO — The Alameda County sheriff launched an investigation on Friday after footage showing two deputies tackling and beating the living daylights out of a man on the pavement in San Francisco's Mission district was released to the public.
The San Francisco Public Defender's office released the footage Friday night after people who saw the violent arrest contacted them. Public Defender Jeff Adachi said the two cops clearly used excessive force in the takedown that was "reminiscent of Rodney King."
The footage shows the two deputies chase down the man at the corner of Clinton Park and Stevenson Street around 2:05 a.m. Thursday. One of the deputies tackles the man and then punches him twice while he's on the ground.
The second deputy then runs over and whips out his baton and starts smashing the man repeatedly on the head. The video then jumps 10 seconds to both cops using their batons on the man as he screams for help.
The footage skips again to show the man on his knees with his hands up on his head, but one deputy pushes him back to the ground so the other deputy can keep hitting him with his baton.
The encounter captured on tape was the end of a 38-minute car chase from the East Bay, said spokesman for the Alameda County Sheriff's Office Sgt. J.D. Nelson.
The man was apparently sitting in a stolen vehicle and when approached by police, he used the car to ram two patrol cars, knocking down and injuring one cop.
Authorities said the man eventually crashed the car and started running, and that's when the deputies started chasing after him on foot. Nelson said the deputies believed the man to be armed, and investigators later recovered a gun. Nelson did not know if the gun was on the man when he was arrested.
The man was taken to San Francisco General Hospital for treatment, and has since been released and booked into custody.