Prince George's County Police Department in Maryland posted a video on its blog Wednesday, after an officer was convicted of assault for pinning his gun to a man's head. The officer, Jenchesky Santiago, was found guilty of first and second-degree assault, misconduct in office and the use of a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence.
In May of 2014, Santiago approached William Cunningham, who was sitting in a car parked in front of his cousin's house with his cousin in the driver's seat. Santiago told them that they had parked there illegally. Cunningham later testified in court for an investigation into Santiago's actions that they had parked in that location on earlier occasions. According to NBC News, when Cunningham got out of the car, Santiago ordered him back in the vehicle, using his gun to stop Cunningham from going into the driver's home.
The video, posted to a blog updated with news and information from the Prince George's County Police Department, shows Santiago pointing his gun at Cunningham's head as Cunningham shouts, "He put a gun to my head!" "You're right," Santiago responds, before shoving him and yelling at the man to "get back in the car, now."
Cunningham stands, looking at Santiago as he holds his weapon to his forehead for nearly 10 seconds. Santiago shoves him once again, this time by his neck and says, "I dare you to f*****g fight me, son."
Cunningham wasn't arrested and no one was injured. The police department's internal affairs division later launched an investigation in 2014 after learning about the officer's actions and posted the video "as part of the department's ongoing commitment to transparency and accountability," according to its blog.
"The actions Officer Santiago chose to take that day are his alone," Chief Mark Magaw said in a statement. "His behavior is flagrant, appalling and isolated. His actions are among the worst I've seen as chief of police and that will be taken into account when I make a decision about his employment."
Santiago will be sentenced on January 8, 2016. Santiago, who had been employed by PGPD for two years, is currently suspended without pay.
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