A San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputy is under investigation after he was seen on surveillance footage winding up and kicking a Black man even after the man surrendered after initially fleeing when the deputy tried to pull him over to execute a traffic stop.
The deputy, who has not been named, was immediately taken off duty and placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
“A criminal investigation is being conducted. This investigation will be submitted to the district attorney. Subsequently, an administrative investigation will also be initiated to allow for the appropriate employment actions to be taken,” Undersherriff Shannon Dicus said on Friday, June 21.
The June 16 incident, captured in part by a surveillance camera at a Toyota dealership in Victorville, California, happened after the deputy tried to pull over 32-year-old motorcyclist Willie Jones for multiple traffic violations.
Authorities said Jones fled at a high speed, ran multiple red lights, entered Interstate 15 going the wrong direction and nearly collided with multiple vehicles before ditching the motorcycle near the car dealership and fleeing on foot.
When a deputy ran into frame, Jones raised his hands then got on the ground. Standing over the man, the deputy brought his foot back then kicked Jones in the shoulder and the head before kneeling on him and placing him in handcuffs as other deputies rushed in.
Dicus called the incident “unfortunate,” and said it’s harmful to community-police relations.
“It’s unfortunate when incidents like these occur because it causes turmoil within our communities and equally amongst our deputies who pride themselves on providing professional service,” he said.
Jones was provided medical attention before being booked on suspicion of felony evading with disregard for public safety, officials said. He has since been released on bond.
Authorities first learned about the video when the security company who monitors the dealership contacted a Victorville station watch commander.
Dicus said that as soon as the commander saw the footage he “immediately determined the deputy’s actions were disturbing.”
Sheriff John McMahon, who announced on Friday that he is retiring next month, said “I expect my deputies to remain professional while engaging the public.”
The criminal investigation will be submitted to the county district attorney’s office.