San Rafael police officers placed on paid leave after bloody takedown of gardener with open beer

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ByDan Noyes via KGO logo
Saturday, September 3, 2022
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Two San Rafael police officers are now on paid administrative leave after video showed them violently arresting man over an open beer container.

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (KGO) -- New developments a day after the ABC7 I-Team first showed you a video of San Rafael police officers approaching a man who had an open beer, taking him down and beating him, then charging him with felony resisting arrest.

That incident was a month ago, but now - after an I-Team report - the San Rafael police chief has placed those two officers on paid administrative leave.

EXCLUSIVE: San Rafael police officers under investigation after bloody takedown

The victim in this case, a man we called "Mateo," has been cleared of all charges. He and his attorneys are considering their next move, which very well may be a lawsuit.

One day after we first showed you the bodycam video of that violent struggle, that left a popular gardener from San Rafael's Canal District with a broken nose and a concussion, a police spokesperson tells ABC7 News those two officers - Daisy Mazariegos and Brandon Nail have just been placed on paid administrative leave pending an internal affairs investigation.

"I think that's an appropriate step," said Marin County Supervisor Damon Connolly. "Trust is is foundational, and you've got to have it with the communities you're seeking to serve. Otherwise, folks are going to be hesitant to engage with law enforcement and then report crimes. And that's just not good for any of us."

San Rafael Police Chief Police David Spiller put out an open letter Friday afternoon in English and Spanish, saying, "I am both personally and professionally concerned about this incident and how it impacts the trust our department has worked hard to build in this community."

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Spiller promises a full investigation, adding that Mazariegos and Nail aren't the only ones being investigated, but all members of the department that were there, and that anyone found to have "behaved outside our standards of conduct will be held accountable and disciplined as appropriate."

We also received a statement from the CEO of the Canal Alliance Omar Carrera who works on immigration issues in the area.

Carrera says he "demands swift action and a comprehensive investigation" adding, "we will be hosting a forum to give people in the community the opportunity to be heard on this matter."

"There should be an independent investigation and all appropriate steps taken so that these incidents have to stop," said Connolly.

The I-Team renewed a request for an interview, but no response from the police chief. They emailed him that we'll have to talk about this on camera sooner or later, and that we should address what this incident may say about broader issues in the department.

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