10 Deputies Suspended for Excessive Beating Caught on Video

Originally published on April 11, 2015, at NationofChange.org

Ten San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies, including a sergeant and a detective, were placed on paid administrative leave Friday after a news helicopter captured video of them savagely beating a suspect who had surrendered. After reviewing the video, San Bernardino Sheriff John McMahon accused the deputies of using excessive force and suspended them pending an investigation into the incident. Although the sheriff admitted that the deputies involved in the initial pursuit had a history with the suspect, McMahon would not confirm whether the suspended deputies were familiar with him or not.

At 12:12 p.m. on Thursday, deputies arrived at Francis Pusok’s home in Apple Valley to serve a search warrant involving an identity theft investigation. According to sheriff’s department spokeswoman Cindy Bachman, Pusok was already sitting inside a car when the deputies approached his residence. Pusok fled in the vehicle prompting a near three-hour pursuit through the desert.

After Pusok abandoned his vehicle and ran into the desert, the sheriff’s department and California Highway Patrol deployed helicopters and off-road vehicles to continue pursuing him. A few minutes later, the deputies received a report that Pusok had stolen a horse from a group of people near Deep Creek Hot Springs. As the deputies tracked down Pusok and made contact with him around 3 p.m., Pusok fell off the stolen horse.

According to the sheriff’s department, deputies used a Taser on Pusok but it was rendered ineffective due to his loose clothing. But video shot from NBC4’s helicopter revealed Pusok surrendering to the deputies by lying facedown with his hands behind his back when one cop appears to repeatedly punch Pusok in the head. The other deputy kicked Pusok in the groin as he remained on the ground.

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Homeless Woman Receives $1.5 Million After CHP Beating Caught on Video

Originally published on September 26, 2014, at NationofChange.org

A homeless woman suffering from a mental disorder received $1.5 million after a California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer was caught on video using excessive force against her. As part of the settlement, CHP Officer Daniel L. Andrew was forced to resign to prevent him from endangering other citizens under color of authority.

On July 1, Marlene Pinnock was walking barefoot along the La Brea off-ramp on the 10 freeway in Los Angeles when Officer Andrew confronted her. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder and off her medication at the time, 51-year-old Pinnock continued walking along the freeway when Andrew grabbed her from behind, threw her to the ground, straddled her body, and ripped her clothes while repeatedly punching her in the head and upper torso.

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