Jurors return with a verdict in the assault trial for two San Diego County sheriff's deputies accused of assault after a viral video captured the controversial arrest of two men in Vista.
Deputy Nicholas Morgan and Deputy Joshua Nahan were acquitted on all counts. Both deputies faced misdemeanor assault charges stemming from an arrest on May 7, 2018.
In the 22-second video, two deputies walked a handcuffed Gerardo Martinez Sr. down a walkway. Nahan appears to push Martinez into a wooden fence.
While deputies were walking Martinez Sr., two other deputies were attempting to take his son, Gerardo Martinez Jr., into custody on the ground.
Morgan was seen striking Martinez Jr. in the back of the head as he lay face down on the concrete.
The prosecution argued the deputies used unreasonable force.
"Once a suspect is on the ground with his hands behind his back, they are no longer a threat," the prosecutor said.
The defense responded by saying that one of the men being detained by the deputies was a convicted felon.
A neighbor captured the arrest on video and posted it to Facebook where it went viral.
Months after the incident, an investigation was launched following outrage in the community.
Morgan was charged with two misdemeanor counts of assault without lawful necessity by an officer and faced two years behind bars if convicted.
Nahan was charged with one misdemeanor count of assault without lawful necessity by an officer and faced one year in jail if convicted.
Judge Harry M. Elias presided over the trial.