Deputies revised reports in SF beating prompt lawyer's questions

Vivian Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, March 31, 2016
New allegations in the case involving two Alameda County sheriffs deputies filmed beating a defenseless man in a San Francisco alley are prompting questions about why the deputies were allowed to alter their original reports on the incident after they and their attorneys viewed the surveillance video. An attorney representing the carchase suspect who suffered broken bones and serious head injuries during the beating said he suspected the Sheriffs Office of trying to cover up wrongdoing by Deputies Paul Wieber and Luis Santamaria. ... Sheriff Greg Ahern confirmed that Wieber and Santamaria had been allowed to resubmittheir reports after viewing the video footage, which showed them striking Stanislav Petrov numerous times with their batons in a Mission District alley. ... "When they Santamaria and Wieber were called back in, they learned there was a video that got out to the media," the sheriff added. "When they learned of the video, they contacted their representative, which is common in most serious critical events. With theassistance of their representative, they altered their final version of that report." Ahern said that practice was "very common." Sheriffs Office spokesman Sgt. J.D. Nelson said Santamaria and Wieber had a right tohave their attorneys present once the video was released the San Francisco Public Defenders Office made it public Nov. 13 and the investigation evolved from one into a car chase into one of possible officer misconduct. Nelson said he did not know whether the two deputies original reports still existed. ... "This was not fixing typos and crossing ts this was creating a whole new document and new facts to justify their uses of force," one of Petrov's attorneys, Michael Haddad said. "They completed their original report. They turned it in, and then a supervisor told them to 'do it again after you meet with your lawyers again and watch the video.' In a situation like this, where there are serious injuries from the force and the initialreport completely underreports that force, you dont throw away those reports. Theyre evidence," Haddad said. "You let the officer write a supplement, but the judicial system deserves to know what the officers first version was, just like any other suspect."

Read News Article »