california local news

Sutter County Sheriff’s Office releases ‘use of force’ body camera footage, no charges filed

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

(FOX40.COM) — A video that shows a man being punched and elbowed in the head repeatedly at a local gas station by Sutter County deputies was released with a statement that affirmed the sheriff’s department’s use of force.

The ‘critical incident’ video was posted on YouTube on Friday and was followed by a statement from Sutter County Sheriff Brandon Barnes who informed the public that no criminal charges would be filed against the deputies.

On Sept. 9, 2023, the Sutter County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) received a 911 call from a woman who stated that an unknown man was in her front yard and attempting to open her husband’s truck. Video footage shows the man, who was later identified by law enforcement as 27-year-old Braden Fields, approach her front door and turn the knob.

Upon arrival, a lone deputy (Deputy 1) said Fields was uncooperative and under the influence of narcotics. Other bystanders approached Deputy 1 and informed him that Fields also attempted to enter their vehicles. Body Cam footage shows the first responding deputy calmly attempting to arrest Fields, however, Fields walked away from the deputy and into a nearby gas station located at 10020 Highway 99, Live Oak.

A woman called 911 and said an unknown man who was later identified by law enforcement as Braden Fields, 27, attempted to open her front door on Sept. 9, 2023./ Sutter County Sheriff’s Office.

Video footage showed that Deputy 1 followed Fields into the gas station and tried to de-escalate the situation, but Fields failed to comply with repeated commands. It’s not shown in the video but the deputy reported that Fields kicked him several times and attempted to punch him. Deputy 1 deployed his taser and called for backup. Although no weapons beyond the taser were drawn, dispatch was heard on the footage saying, “One at gunpoint.”

Moments later, a second deputy (Deputy 2) arrived at the scene and immediately began to use force. Video footage showed him punching and elbowing Fields several times. Blood can be seen on the floor and walls of the gas station from the incident.

Officials said, “Deputy 2 punched Mr. Fields multiple times in the head in an attempt to gain compliance.”

Video footage captured on a gas station patron’s cell phone showed use of force by Sutter County Sheriff’s Office on Sept. 9, 2023./Sutter County Sheriff’s Office

The gas station incident ended with Fields being transported to a local hospital for evaluation, according to SCSO. He was treated and booked into jail the next day under suspicion of assault of a peace officer, obstruction of justice, being under the influence of a controlled substance, and resisting arrest.

Following the incident, Sheriff Barnes said he called for an investigation.

“I requested that the district attorney’s office review that incident and determine if there was any criminal wrongdoing on the part of our deputies,” Barnes said. “That investigation was completed, and no criminal charges are being filed.”

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.