SBCO District Attorney

DA will announce whether criminal charges to be filed after beating

By Shea Johnson
Staff Writer
Posted Aug. 31, 2015 at 3:11 PM
Updated Aug 31, 2015 at 5:17 PM

SAN BERNARDINO — The San Bernardino District Attorney’s office will announce Tuesday whether 10 deputies were justified in their use of force against Francis Pusok during his arrest April 9, a DA official said Monday.

A press conference has been scheduled for 11 a.m. on the first floor of the DA’s office. It is possible the DA will announce criminal charges.

The deputies were placed on paid administrative leave the day after an NBC 4 news helicopter video captured sheriff’s deputies delivering more than 60 blows with hands, feet or batons to Pusok while he was on the ground at the end of a nearly three-hour-long pursuit. More than a dozen blows were to Pusok’s head, according to analysis of the video.

Sheriff John McMahon called the video “disturbing” and immediately ordered an internal criminal investigation. The sheriff’s department submitted its findings to the DA on July 1, the same day it also began a probe into whether the deputies violated any internal policies.

Meanwhile, the FBI opened its own criminal investigation into the incident. Spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said Monday the investigation was still ongoing.

The deputies were later identified as Deputy Nicholas Downey, Victor Valley Station; Deputy Scott Hamilton, Victor Valley Station; Deputy David Moore, Victor Valley Station; Deputy Dominic Moody, Victor Valley Station; Det. William Doemner, Victor Valley Station; Sgt. James Evans, Victor Valley Station; Deputy Michael Phelps, Twin Peaks Station; Deputy Raymond Perez, Twin Peaks Station; Deputy Tyler McGee, Apple Valley Station; and Deputy Charles Foster, Hesperia Station.

The NBC 4 news video thrust the incident into the national conversation about perceived police brutality in the wake of other high-profile controversies.

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