Video: Cops under investigation after brutally beating suspect in San Francisco.

Video Shows Cops Brutally Beating Suspect in San Francisco

Video Shows Cops Brutally Beating Suspect in San Francisco

The Slatest
Your News Companion
Nov. 15 2015 12:08 PM

Video Shows Cops Brutally Beating Suspect in San Francisco

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A screengrab from the shocking video released by the San Francisco Public Defender's Office on Nov. 13, 2015.

Two sheriff’s deputies are under investigation after the San Francisco Public Defender’s office released shocking video showing cops viciously beating a suspect in an alley in San Francisco’s Mission District. The Alameda County sheriff confirmed the investigation was launched after the video was posted on YouTube. Public Defender Jeff Adachi characterized the encounter as “reminiscent of Rodney King.”

“It’s extremely disturbing,” Public Defender spokeswoman Tamara Aparton said. “[The victim] doesn’t appear to be resisting at all. We want to find out the circumstances of his arrest, and the extent of his injures as soon as we can.”

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A spokesman for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office tells the San Francisco Chronicle that the video shows the end of a 38-minute car chase that began when the deputies approached the man while he was sitting in a vehicle that had been reported stolen. The deputies involved in the incident filed reports saying they thought the suspect was on drugs.

As shocking as the video is, the reality was likely much more brutal. The video is compiled from a time-lapse surveillance camera in the area, so the incident actually went on for twice as long as what the video suggests, according to the Public Defender’s office.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.