The 10 California police officers responsible for the beating of the fleeing horseman have been put on paid suspension.
After a 2 1/2 hour police chase involving a stolen horse, ten California police deputies violently beat the suspect after being subdued. The video of the incident went live 2 days ago and can be found here. All 10 officers involved have been put on paid leave.
The video is “disturbed and troubled” and showed extreme use of force, said San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon. McMahon’s decision to suspend the officers came only after the video went live. This has been part of a larger trend of police being exposed for excessive use of force and being punished due to video evidence. Aside from video evidence, reports are heavily based on officer accounts. Accounts which have shown to be often falsified, as with the recent case of Walter Scott who had been brutally murdered after a police stop and the officers involved tried to falsify the evidence until a video of the incident went live.
The suspect in this case has been identified as Francis Pusok. The incident originated when officers were serving a search warrant for theft and Pusok fled, first by car, and then by horse while officers were pursuing on foot. Once off the horse, Pusok can be seen laying flat on the ground, legs and arms outstretched, and then the officers began beating him, punching and kicking him for a few minutes.
The FBI has said that they will start a civilian rights investigation.
McMahon issued a statement saying, “I’m asking for some patience while we complete a thorough and fair investigation, I am disturbed and troubled by what I see in the video. It does not appear to be in line with our policies and procedures. I assure you, if there is criminal doing on the part of any of our deputy sheriffs or any policy violations, we will take action.”
Sharon Brunner, Pusok’s attorney said, “He remembers being beat, and he remembers that he wasn’t resisting, that he laid still, he complied immediately. He says that he didn’t even move a muscle because he didn’t want to be continuously beat, yet it still happened.”
Pusok is being held on suspicion of felony evading, possession of stolen property and theft of horse. More coverage on the story can be found here.