Two Alameda County sheriff's deputies who chased a suspect to San Francisco—and allegedly beat him to a pulp once they caught up with him—have been suspended while the incident is investigated. In video released by the San Francisco public defender’s office, which calls the video "extremely disturbing," the two officers can be seen chasing the man on foot and hitting him with their batons after he was brought to the ground, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. They can be seen hitting the man more than 30 times before other officers arrive—and the public defender's office says that since the footage was taken from security cameras with 10-second lapses, the beating lasts twice as long as it seems in the footage, in which the man can be heard begging for help, KRON4 reports.
The suspect, who was hospitalized after his arrest, has been identified as Stanislav Petrov, an alleged car thief accused of ramming patrol cars before leading officers on a high-speed chase early Thursday morning, the Chronicle reports. Police say he took off on foot after crashing the car. Critics have accused the officers of using excessive force and likened the footage to the Rodney King video, the Los Angeles Times reports. "I was shocked by the brutality," a spokeswoman for the public defender's office tells the Times. "He is clearly not resisting. And they hit him multiple times in the head with their batons. It doesnt look like they're trying to subdue him. It looks like they're trying to punish him or trying to exact revenge." (Three Tuscaloosa cops were suspended after video of them dealing roughly with partying students emerged.)