Alameda County deputy beating case prompts camera policy change

DUBLIN, Calif. (KGO) -- Allegations of corruption within the Alameda County Sheriff's Office are growing in connection to the November beating of a car theft suspect named Stanislav Petrov.

Two sheriff's deputies were caught on video beating and seriously injuring a him in an alley.

On Tuesday, Petrov's attorneys filed a claim against Alameda County and demand for preservation of evidence. The county has 45 days to respond.

WATCH VIDEO: Third Alameda County deputy placed on leave suspect beating case

Sheriff Greg Ahern spoke Tuesday for the first time about the excessive use of force and alleged bribery to silence witnesses.

Ahern said his department is changing its body camera policy in light of this incident. For now, on body worn cameras will be activated at all times.

Petrov's Attorneys say he suffered a concussion, multiple head lacerations and that he has fractures in both of his hands. "This was probably the worst law enforcement beating on video that we've seen since Rodney King," Petrov's attorney Michael Haddad said.

Ahern said he has seen the video. "No, I'm not ashamed of my department. I'm saddened that this type of event has caused discredit to our agency, but I love these people like they're my brothers and sisters," he said.

Ahern said it will be incumbent on Alameda County Deputies Weiber and Santamaria, who are now on administrative leave to justify each and every strike. He says the baton striking lasted 44 seconds.

Initially it seemed none of the sheriff's deputies turned on their body worn cameras, but the Alameda County Sheriff's Department recently said Weiber's body camera captured video, which was turned over to the San Francisco District Attorney's Office. "It was consistent with the video shown in the alley," Ahern said.

Petrov's attorneys said the deputies had the chance to review the surveillance video and re-write their reports, a point Ahern confirms.

Petrov's attorneys also said another deputy robbed him of a gold chain, money and cigarettes to give them to witnesses to silence them. "If that allegation is true, it's one of the most horrific things I've ever heard," Ahern said.

Ahern said that third unnamed deputy on administrative leave in connection with the alleged bribery has approximately 20 years with the department.

In an email statement, San Francisco's Public Defender Jeff Adachi wrote: "Stealing, bribing witnesses, shutting off body cameras - that describes a calculated conspiracy among nearly a dozen deputies. It is now more important than ever for the district attorney to bring charges against these officers."

The San Francisco District Attorney's Office said it is unable to comment on an ongoing investigation.

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