Community pressure has finally forced the hand of the San Diego District Attorney’s Office leading to charges. The charges were filed against deputies with the San Diego sheriff’s office. The two deputies, Nicholas Morgan and Joshua Nahan, are being charged with misdemeanor assault after a video that went viral on social media of an aggressive arrest of a father and son in Vista, California stirred community outrage.
The pair made an arrest May 7 after responding to a domestic violence call. The charges come following a months-long investigation and community pressure for accountability.
NBC News reports that one of the deputies is captured on video slamming Geraldo Martinez Jr. in the back of the head as he was being held down. Another deputy is in the video slamming Martinez’s father head first into a wooden fence.
“Right now, we have cowboys that are riding around North County doing whatever they way,” Darwin Fishman with the Racial Justice Coalition of San Diego said at a news conference Tuesday. “Certainly this is just the tip of the iceberg.”
“Short of us coming out and having protests and demonstrations, typically there’s nothing done at all, there’s not any pressure,” Fishman said. “Even this small step, we know that the DA and the sheriff’s office department wouldn’t have even done this unless we’d been doing the work that we’ve been doing – and them feeling the pressure to do it.”
27-year-old Morgan is potentially facing two years in jail on two misdemeanor counts of assault without lawful necessity by an officer.
“Law enforcement officers hold a position of trust in our community and are required to abide by the rules in the exercise of their powers.” the district attorney said in a statement. “The evidence on which the charges are based shows the force used by the two deputies exceeded the legal line, violating that public trust. For justice to thrive, it is important that no one is above the law.”