A white Maryland police officer caught on tape holding a gun to a black man’s head was sentenced to five years in prison Friday.
No one was hurt in the May 2014 encounter, but Prince George’s County Police Officer Jenchesky Santiago held a gun to William Cunningham’s head while screaming at him, all because the officer said Cunningham had parked illegally, Fox5DC reports. It turns out Cunningham had not parked illegally at all.
“Video this!” Cunningham says in the video. “He put a gun to my head.”
Santiago holds the gun to his head as Cunningham stares at him. Cunningham then turns his back on Santiago.
“I dare you to fucking fight me, son,” Santiago says in the video.
Santiago had two friends in the police car when the incident occurred. Santiago stopped in front of Cunningham’s house and they began arguing over if he was illegally parked. It escalated until Santiago pulled out a gun and pointed it at Cunningham’s head.
“Perhaps you were bored or perhaps you wanted to show off,” Prince George’s County Circuit Court Judge Dwight D. Jackson told Santiago. “You degraded that man.”
Santiago was found guilty of first degree assault and second degree assault, use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence and two counts of misconduct in office.
“The actions Officer Santiago chose to take that day are his alone.” Police Chief Mark Magaw told WUSA9 in December. “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.”
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