The two Alameda County Sheriff's Deputies charged earlier this month for their alleged role in the November, 2015 videotaped beating of Stanislav Petrov have each pleaded "not guilty" to three felony charges. KQED reports that both Deputy Luis Santamaria and Deputy Paul Wieber were charged with "assault under color of authority, battery with serious bodily injury and assault with a deadly weapon," and that the men yesterday entered their pleas in San Francisco Superior Court.
A third Alameda County Sheriff's Deputy, who has been accused of using stolen items in an attempt to buy the silence of witnesses to the beating, is presently on leave.
KQED notes that Petrov suffered a "concussion, broken bones in both hands, a mild traumatic brain injury and deep cuts to his head." The video, which shows Petrov being tackled by deputies at 14th and Stevenson Streets in the Mission, has ten second lapses and thus doesn't capture the full duration of the pummeling.
The police began chasing Petrov after he allegedly tried to ram one of them when they attempted to question him for being in a car they say was stolen. One deputy was injured, and the chase hit speeds of upwards of 100 miles per hour, crossing the Bay Bridge and ending in the Mission.
Also, as far as we know, Petrov is behind bars following an April 1 shooting in Visitacion Valley outside a home he was known to frequent. Federal charges against him now include drug and firearms trafficking, and as ABC 7 reported he is apparently a known associate of the Norteno gang. Petrov and girlfriend Milagro Moraga both stand accused, and federal agents say they found the pair with more than 125 grams of methamphetamine during a cybercrimes raid in March.
"But," observed San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi, "we have to remember that in the American justice system, the police are not the judge and jury, it’s not their job to decide who should be executed on the spot or who should be beaten. No matter who that was, they didn’t deserve to be treated that way.”
Both Deputy Luis Santamaria and Deputy Paul Wieber are currently on paid administrative leave.