From: SF Chronicle
By: Matthias Gafni, 4/05/2019
The East Bay sheriff’s deputy who has been charged with severely beating a suspect in a San Francisco alley in 2015 had previously been involved in a pair of fatal shootings, one less than two months before the baton attack, according to records released Saturday.
Police records released Saturday under SB1421, a new transparency law, reveal for the first time that former Alameda County Sheriff’s Deputy Luis Santamaria, who was fired from the department, was involved in two fatal shootings before the Nov. 12, 2015, beating of Stanislav Petrov captured on video. Santamaria and Paul Wieber, who was also fired, were charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon for the steel baton beating and are facing a criminal trial.
The Sheriff’s Office released an index of officer-involved shootings, use-of-force incidents and sustained findings of dishonesty by deputies dating back as far as 2004, and plan to release thousands of pages of records in the next few days.
The catalog of incidents showed that since 2004 there have been 32 shootings involving 37 Alameda County deputies, with 16 ending with the death of a suspect. There were 19 internal affairs cases involving use of force resulting in great bodily injury dating back to November 2015, ranging from chipped teeth to broken bones and dog bites, along with one death.
A handful of officers were involved in multiple shootings and use-of-force incidents. Deputy Jeffery Edwards was named in six reports, three shootings and three use-of-force cases, according to the records.
The records also named three internal affairs cases where investigators sustained a finding of dishonesty by three officers in 2014 and 2015. The agency noted that two other incidents were withheld because of “pending associated criminal cases.”
The records, released in response to multiple public records requests by The Chronicle and other media agencies, are the latest disclosed under the new SB1421 police officer transparency law, which requires departments to release previously confidential internal discipline information involving officers.
“Some of those cases are thousands of pages,” said Sgt. Ray Kelly, an Alameda County Sheriff’s Office spokesman. “But we will produce them.”
The catalog indicates that the Sheriff’s Office has averaged about one fatal shooting a year since 2004 and more than two shootings a year.
The records show that on Sept. 21, 2015 — weeks before the baton beating for which Alameda County eventually paid $5.5 million to Petrov — Santamaria and four other officers shot and killed Dante Osborne after deputies said they chased him after a drive-by shooting, attempted carjacking and Osborne repeatedly firing on officers.
“He was one of several deputies who returned fire on a suspect after they were ambushed on a dead-end street,” Kelly said. “Several bullets narrowly missed the officers. They returned fire and stopped the threat. They are lucky to be alive.”
On March 30, 2013, Santamaria and another deputy shot Broderick Huggins, according to the records. Kelly said Santamaria shot Huggins in the elbow, while the other officer fired the fatal shots.
Huggins’ brother had been arrested for possessing ecstasy in a car stop that day in the Fruitvale district of Oakland, and Huggins refused to get out of the car, police said. He was shot after he dragged an officer who was trying to undo his seatbelt, police said. His family sued and said the car was switched into drive by the officer as he tried to unbuckle Huggins.