San Francisco police and the FBI raided the home of Stanislav Petrov, the man whose beating by sheriff’s deputies was caught on surveillance video last fall, and arrested him and three others and left one other with multiple gunshot injuries.
The raid, which began late on Friday afternoon and involved search and arrest warrants for multiple parties, male and female, was conducted by dozens of law enforcement officers.
Later on Friday, the FBI confirmed that Petrov, who is suing over the beating incident, was one of the arrested parties. Prosecutors declined to say what charges he will face when arraigned in court on Monday.
In November, Petrov was a suspect in an auto theft case and beaten by two Alameda County sheriff’s deputies after he led them on a high-speed chase across the Bay Bridge, from Oakland to San Francisco. After surveillance footage of the beating was released, a homeless couple alleged they had been bribed with goods stolen from Petrov, and the public defender’s office called for the deputies to face charges.
The raid was not the first to target the Mission District house: in mid-March, Petrov was arrested by the FBI because he had a gun, though San Francisco district attorney George Gascón declined to press charges. On Friday, FBI sources told local ABC7 News Petrov was not wanted by them at that time.
Days before the most recent raid, Petrov filed a claim seeking damages from Alameida County for what his lawyers described as “the worst law enforcement beating we’ve seen on video since Rodney King”.
Two officers were placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of criminal and internal affairs investigations. A third deputy was suspended for allegedly stealing a gold chain from Petrov. The officer allegedly gave the chain, as well as cigarettes, money and crystal meth to two homeless people who had witnessed the incident. Sheriff’s deputies have since been ordered to wear body-cameras.
The latest incident comes against a backdrop of a rising number of complaints against the SFPD. Allegations of bias and misconduct resurfaced this week, after the district attorney’s office revealed that a group of officers are under investigation for exchanging racist and homophobic text messages.
Last year, officials revealed that a first group of officers fell under investigation for similar text messages. Attorneys have expressed concern that police officers’ testimony may now be tainted, and thousands of cases could be reviewed.
Court filings in a federal corruption case show that the text messages include repeated use of anti-black and anti-gay slurs. The first case involved 14 officers, and this week prosecutors found at least four more involved. They came to light as part of an investigation into claims lodged last year, by an unidentified woman, who alleged that Taraval station officer Jason Lai sexually assaulted her.
Investigators say that in addition to Lai, officers Keith Ybarreta and Lt Curtis Liu, who retired after being accused of obstructing the rape inquiry, were involved. Gascón said his office only learned of the text messages last week while preparing to charge Lai with misusing police databases. All four officers have been suspended.
“Such misconduct does an extraordinary amount of damage to the public trust and the already strained relations between police and the communities they are sworn to protect,” Gascón wrote in a public statement.
“Delaying disclosure of such misconduct only adds to the current climate of distrust.”