The long, strange, ‘everybody looks bad here’ saga of a November 2015 incident wherein the driver of a stolen Mercedes received an absolutely thorough thrashing by Alameda County sheriff’s deputies appears to have its resolution. After a videotaped beating by the officers left suspect Stanislav Petrov with possibly permanent damage to his arms and hands, Petrov filed a civil rights suit against the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office in August. Today CBS 5 reports that Petrov will receive a “seven-figure settlement” from the county, and the East Bay Times pegs the settlement at $5.5 million.
The 13-minute video of Petrov’s beating was made public by San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi days after the incident, gaining the case nationwide attention. We should warn you that the above video is a pretty difficult watch, beginning with 34 seconds of sheer, unadulterated police brutality — nearly four dozen baton whackings with sound effects and all — followed by about 12 minutes of a dazed Petrov crying and begging for mercy by saying “Help me” and “Oh my God."
“We said we were going to hold Alameda County and the involved deputies accountable and we did,” Petrov’s attorney Michael Haddad told the East Bay Times. “This result should serve as a deterrent to law enforcement officers who would abuse their authority and beat a man who was trying to surrender, as these deputies did.”
Bringing additional shame and firings to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, the deputies were allegedly caught stealing one of Petrov’s gold chains and using it to bribe homeless witnesses of the incident. Three deputies were eventually dismissed in response to their handling of the case.
Alameda Sheriff’s deputies found themselves beating a victim in a San Francisco alley because Petrov had allegedly engaged them in a 100 mile-per-hour chase across the 580 and the Bay Bridge, with Petrov hitting two police cruisers and injuring a deputy in the process.
The whopping $5.5 million settlement is believed to be one of the highest ever for Alameda County, but Petrov won’t really be able to enjoy it. He’s currently in federal custody on drugs and weapons charges, and last April was arrested in connection with a Visitacion Valley shooting.