A San Juan police officer has been suspended after he was caught on video using “excessive force” against a man in handcuffs.
San Juan police confirmed that the video obtained exclusively by CBS 4 News is from a body camera worn by one of its officers. The video is currently being used as evidence in an ongoing internal investigation.
“It’s going to be a lengthy investigation, but we want to make sure that the public is aware of the fact that that’s the whole reason body-worn cameras were installed here in San Juan. To look at these incidents from a different perspective – an independent perspective,” said San Juan police Chief Juan Gonzalez.
This is the first time the department has had to utilize the body cameras to address possible misconduct on behalf of one of their officers.
“The original call was that they were checking up on a runaway. Obviously, it turned into a violent situation and officers responded to back up that officer,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez said that the suspect was taken into custody on Monday night for resisting arrest and assault on a peace officer.
The officer, who has been identified as J.P Galindo, however, doesn’t show up to the scene until after the suspect had already been subdued, handcuffed and walking with other officers to be taken to the police department.
According to one source, he’s known as a guy who doesn’t really care if people like him. One of his favorite sayings, according to one police source, is:
“I’m here to do a job and that’s it. I’m not here to be liked.”
All of which might explain why he was chosen as one of the PD’s union presidents at some point in time. It’s unclear if he still holds that position.
Unfortunately for him, he may have overstepped his bounds when he walked up to the handcuffed Victor Manuel Aguirre after his arrest Dec. 14th and took insult at the trash talk Aguirre was allegedly tossing his way (the audio is jumbled). But what is clear is the video first aired on KBGT-TV: Galindo can be seen walking up to Aguirre, still in cuffs, waiting to be placed inside the San Juan PD squad car, and kneeing him squarely in the testicles. And it’s not a light knee applied to the crotch. You can see the force Galindo puts into it. Aguirre immediately crumbles to the ground screaming in pain.
“As chief of police, I expect that the officers report the actions of other officers and that’s what was done. That’s why (Galindo) was immediately suspended,” Gonzalez said.
Galindo, a six year veteran with the department, was suspended with pay for using excessive force Tuesday morning, pending the outcome of the internal investigation.
“I got zero tolerance for that type of behavior and I think it’s important for us to take appropriate action. We’ve been consulting with other state agencies and the district attorney’s office as well to see how we proceed with this case,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez told CBS 4 News that this is not the first complaint made against Galindo.
Hidalgo County District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez declined to comment on the case, but confirmed he was notified by Gonzalez.