SAN JOSE, Calif. - A former San Jose police officer charged with punching a woman in the face during a road rage incident has now been placed on California's decertification list, which means he might never work in law enforcement again.
George Bernard Brown was placed on the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training list this month on a "temporary suspension" for "egregious or repeated acts that violate the law." The POST list also notes that there are criminal proceedings pending against him, but didn't specify what those proceedings are.
Brown, who may fight and appeal being placed on this list, was charged in October by the Santa Clara County District Attorney with felony assault.
Deputy District Attorney Jason Malinsky said that on July 24, 2021, Brown was off duty, driving in his Ford Explorer when he was involved in a near collision with a man driving a Ford Flex off Interstate Highway 680.
As the two cars pulled onto I-280, both drivers accelerated and braked aggressively, Malinksy said in a news release.
The man's wife was in the front passenger seat, and their teenage daughter was seated in the back.
At one point, the wife in the Flex threw a plastic bottle that hit Brown’s Explorer.
Brown was on the phone and mouthed to the man driving the Flex to pull over, which he did off I-680. Brown pulled his Explorer about a car length behind on the driver’s side of the Flex, blocking the lane of freeway traffic, prosecutors said.
Brown called SJPD dispatch and requested "Code 3" assistance, usually used in emergencies, Malinsky said.
All the parties got out of their cars, which is when Brown identified himself as an officer and then "without provocation the 220-pound officer punched the 5-foot-3-inch woman in the face, knocking her to the ground," according to the DA's news release.
When she tried to stand up, prosecutors allege that Brown punched her again.
A passing motorist in a Tesla reported the incident to 911 and provided video recordings to investigators. A witness also has cellphone video of the event. Prosecutors would not make either of those videos public.
Brown has pleaded not guilty.
He is the third San Jose police officer to be on POST's decertification list.
And though last week, San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata said he would place former Officer Mark McNamara on the list because he allegedly sent racist text messages, his name was on on the list as of Wednesday.
As for Brown, at the time he was charged, Mata said he found violence against women to be "detestable."