Police Abuse

Pennsylvania Cop Criminally Charged After Punching Woman in the Face—Still On the PD Payroll

On paid leave while the department conducts its own investigation

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surveillance video

A cop in Reading, Pennsylvania, was caught on tape punching a woman in the face during a traffic stop. Surveillance footage obtained by ABC News also revealed that the reason the cop offered for pulling the woman and her boyfriend over—that she didn't use her turn signal—was false.

The incident happened in April. Officer Jesus Santiago-DeJesus apparently escalated the situation when the victim, Marcelina Cintron-Garcia, and her boyfriend, Joel Rodriguez, began to record the encounter on their cellphones. The officer "forcibly wrestled" Cintron-Garcia's phone from her hands, and slammed it to the ground, according to the district attorney, who is pressing charges against the officer including criminal mischief and false reporting to law enforcement, but not assault. Cintron-Garcia and Rodriguez faced multiple charges after they were arrested by Santiago-DeJesus, but all the charges were eventually dropped.

Despite being criminally charged, Santiago-DeJesus remains employed by the Reading police department. He is on paid administrative lead while the police department leads its own independent investigation. Tying employment status to criminal proceedings puts police officers and civilians in danger—when the bar for terminating employment is as high as the bar for depriving someone of their freedom, bad cops can remain on the street while pressure increases to prosecute cops as one of the only ways to remove them from the force.

Santiago-DeJesus' attorney says the surveillance video doesn't show the back of the vehicle, so the tail light could've been out, and alleges that Cintron-Garcia hit the officer, injuring his face. "There's been press about the punch thrown by Santiago, but how come we aren't seeing anything of her hitting him?" the cop's attorney asked. "And it's of note because the DA's office did not accuse or charge him with assault, meaning they acknowledged he was responding appropriately."

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  1. Her face was resisting his fist.

    1. Why are you hitting yourself,why are you hitting yourself,why are you hitting yourself?

  2. Officer Jesus Santiago-DeJesus apparently escalated the situation when the victim, Marcelina Cintron-Garcia, and her boyfriend, Joel Rodriguez, began to record the encounter on their cellphones.

    Obviously it was racially motivated.

    1. Of course, the cop was a white hispanic, the victim was a Person of Color.

      1. Get a paper bag and see which of them is browner.

        1. This is what I was alluding to – just so you don’t think I was just being tasteless out of thin air.

          1. We have progressed, sir!

          2. They told me only adults drink coffee, because if children drank it, it would make you BLACK.

            No they didn’t.

        2. You guys know that there is racism between light skinned blacks and dark skinned blacks, so I am sure the same thing goes on with Hispanics. I am not saying that is the case here; this is straight up police abuse.

          1. Nigger? Please!

      2. I honestly would not be surprised to see it reported like that.

    2. Brown on brown makes the world go ’round.

      Wait, that’s not it.

      1. How about a black and tan?

      2. UPS has yet another marketing campaign?

        1. Their service is so bad it is like they are shitting on our packages?

  3. Ed, do you want cops to refuse to do their jobs and criminals to take over and then we’ll all die? DO YOU? Because that’s what happens when you question our heroic cops like this!

    (sorry, was re-reading the article on Senator Cotton’s speech yesterday)

    1. Would you use a wood chipper on Cotton or bale him?

        1. Mel Blanc and Chuck Jones did more to make this a better world than all 535 of the morons sitting on capitol hill today put together. No joke.

          1. Quoted for truth.

            Hanna-Barbera too for The Flintstones.

      1. Catherine spinning wheel?

        1. Yeah, about that? He made a new ‘wheel

  4. “And it’s of note because the DA’s office did not accuse or charge him with assault, meaning they acknowledged he was responding appropriately.”

    Funny, because I just assumed it meant the DA wanted to stick to the bare minimum of the pettiest charges he could get away with to help cover up that there’s a serious fucking problem.

    1. Also, since his bread is buttered in the same place as the police department, maybe he has a bit of a conflict of interest when there is a case that might result in a tort against the department and the local government.

  5. “And it’s of note because the DA’s office did not accuse or charge him with assault, meaning they acknowledged he was responding appropriately.”

    Nor did they charge either of the victims, asshat.

  6. It proves what the FBI director said,cops are afraid of being recorded.

    1. and apparently that leads to violence, just like he said.

      1. Well,if they had a back door in all phones they could make sure they were only used for ‘good’.

  7. You wouldn’t want to railroad him, would you?

    1. Tied to railroad tracks? That’ a oldie but a goodie. Always go with the classics.

      1. *patiently waits for another Bugs Bunny cartoon*

    2. I was thinking of the Reading … where have I seen that railroad …

  8. Innocent until Proven Guilty you cop haters !!!

    Once convicted, I’m sure the police department will terminate his employment.
    If found not guilty as 99% of the cops are found, why should he lose his job?

    1. Because he was caught on video would be favorite.

    2. Thousands of “civilians” get fired every year when they are charged with violent crimes. Innocent until proven guilty applies within a courtroom, and nowhere else.

    3. Because the transgressions that should cause termination of employment can be different (less onerous) than those for criminal guilt and because the standard of proof is less for the former than it is for the latter.

  9. Jesus Santiago-DeJesus

    Needz moar Jesus.

    1. That boy needs Jesus?

      1. That boy needs a “come to Jesus” moment, that’s for sure.

    2. A trinity, if you will?

      1. The Holy Trifecta.

    3. True fact: Most people don’t know this, but Mary and Joseph were actually Mexican.
      Who else would name their kid J?sus?

      1. There is no way that Mary was a virgin, then.

        1. +1 Whore of Guadalupe

    4. NOBODY FUCKS WIT DE JESUS.

      /turturo

  10. NOTHING LEFT TO CUT

  11. Due process and contract rights for the win

    Has he been convicted yet?

    No

    Has the dept investigation concluded ?

    No – because under Garrity if they have ANY Brains they will wait until after the crim trial so they can use all THAT evidence plus they can then compel him to answer questions or he’s fired

    Booya due process

    1. Shit, I was hoping that meningitis was still doing its job.

      1. Smile on mighty Jesus
        Spinal Meningitis got me down

    2. I don’t know about lower-court opinions *applying* Garrity, but Garrity itself just says a cop can’t get fired for taking the fifth, it doesn’t say he can’t be questioned.

      In Garrity there was a statute that if a public employee took the Fifth on a matter connected with his employment (“did you take a bribe?” “I take the Fifth on that one”), that person would be automatically fired.

      So Officer Garrity, questioned about police corruption, answered all questions, even the incriminating ones.

      They used his answers against him in a criminal prosecution. He was convicted.

      Result: Conviction overturned, because his testimony had been involuntary.

      Of course, you’ll say that getting interrogated by your boss is inherently coercive.

      Well, guess what, one could just as easily argue that a “civilian” getting interrogated by the police is inherently coercive. You’re at the stationhouse where guys with guns want you to talk to them, and hint at good results if you talk or bad results if you don’t. Then if you incriminate yourself these guys walk into court and say your testimony was totes voluntary.

      But we can’t expect Officer Puncy McPunchface to have the courage to clam up during an intereview with his supervisor, with a Supreme Court decision backing him?

      1. And if Officer McPunchface doesn’t talk, there’s still the videos evidence he didn’t manage to confiscate, and the witnesses he didn’t manage to intimidate. McPunchface’s bosses don’t need to wait for a criminal trial before using all that evidence.

        1. Talking to a cop about the law is like talking to a saint bernard about physics, and Dunphy is a dumber-than-average example of his type.

          1. I was going to joke that at least a St. Bernard won’t get all upset if you drink his booze, but this link says the whole barrel o’ booze thing may be a myth.

            1. Don’t ruin a good story. You of all people should know that.

          2. Cops don’t enforce the law, so they don’t need to know anything about it. Their job is to get their way. To make people do as they are told. Doesn’t matter if the commands are lawful or not. That doesn’t matter a bit, since the cop will always be given the benefit of the doubt. So they don’t care about the law. It’s not their job. Their job is to force people to obey, and ultimately kill them if they do not. Lawful or not. Doesn’t matter.

            1. Sigh. Now I has a sadz, because you are right.

              1. They don’t carry that gun to protect you. They carry that gun to kill you. Think about it.

  12. Has he been convicted yet?

    No

    Has nothing to do with whether he should keep his job.

    Due process and contract rights for the win

    Whether he is fired or not has nothing to do with “due process”, a concept properly applied to legal proceedings, not employment matters.

    Tell me who is winning when a cop who lies about why he pulled somebody over, and then assaults them, is still employed? Not the public, that’s for sure.

    1. Who is winning? The thick blue line, that’s who.

      Shit, Dunphy probably thinks the Masshole and New Hampshire cops that got caught on video beating the ever loving fuck out of a prone and compliant suspect are deserving of the pay they will continue to collect until their “trial” or the diversion program they get to go to after the administrative court judge they will get to see (that you or I would never get to see if we violently assaulted someone while armed) sits down with their union attorney and they discuss casually the political aspirations and potential funding of the campaign of said administrative court judge.

      1. Just another occasion to note that Dunphy was a sock puppet. He responded to himself as Dunphy talking in the third person rebutting his own argument.

        1. I think The Artist… is a regular who is trolling. Haven’t seen the actual Dunphy in a long time, but his opening posts were usually very long, and well articulated (you knew what he was trying to say); this guy, not so much.
          Or, this is a different cop/cop sucker who can’t use the handle “Dunphy” because the original already has it. “Dunphy” seems quite popular among the uniformed criminal class.

          1. Also, just noticed the word “uniformed” meaning “wearing a uniform” is the same word as “uniformed” meaning “one who is not informed”

            1. Uni*n*formed means one who is not informed.

      2. The NH trooper was suspended without pay, though it’s possible (and likely) that he will get back pay once he is restored to duty and all of this is swept under the rug.

        Also note that I have not seen a news article releasing the names of the suspended cops.

        1. Getting the pay back after its all swept under the rug is fine – its the sweeping under the rug that is the problem, not someone being re-instated because there was no finding of misconduct.

          I would have no problem with continuing to pay them if a) I trusted the CJS to treat them fairly and b) that pay could be clawed back if they were found at fault.

          Just as for the rest of us, I think criminal justice proceeding should put as little up-front burden on the parties involved as possible.

          Let’s not let our antipathy for police encourage us to push that pendulum too far the other way. Ultimately we should want to *end* injustice, not ‘correct it’ or ‘get even’.

    2. The person who hired the guy is winning, that’s who. Bad cops make the people who hire them look bad. When they look bad, then that puts the public trust in danger. People might wonder if there are other bad cops out there. Better to keep bad cops on the payroll and on the streets than let the public know that someone in power made a mistake. Otherwise the public might not trust the police, and then you’ll have total anarchy. Because everyone trusts the police. Right? Right?

  13. Is it just me, or does it seem like the tide is turning against the pigs recently? This is like the second or third story , recently, of dirty cops getting prosecuted.

    Hell, if the media keeps the pressure on we might even get a conviction one day. Not holding my breath, but a boy can dream.

    1. Prosecuted doesn’t mean convicted, and convicted doesn’t mean meaningful punishment. It’s a show. Bread a circuses. Nothing more.

      1. *and*

      2. Agreed, but it’s better than the FYTW we had up to now.

        Dare I say, moving in the correct direction?

        1. More like throwing a bone in the right direction.

    2. Is it just me, or does it seem like the tide is turning against the pigs recently?

      Obama: Police Are ‘Scapegoats’ for Broader Failures of Society

      Speaking to police chiefs in Chicago, the president affirmed the distrust between people of color and law enforcement, but argued cops bear too much blame for it.

      Obama similarly feted the Police Establishment 4 days ago while giving Medal of Valor awards to a few brave officers.

      While Democrats have made lots of noises about how they really want more ‘criminal justice reform’ (but blame republicans for failing to go along), in actual practice … the way the Feds, most states and cities have responded to demands for police reform has resulted in “More Funds” being allocated for police.

      IOW, anytime there’s a “Crisis”? You milk it for more money. S.O.P. in any bureaucratic reform movement.

      There have been proposals for better record-keeping for shootings/use of force, but i haven’t seen any sincere effort by pols to actually do more than go through the motions, ‘appearing’ to do something, … and there sure as hell hasn’t been any effort to actually impose *disincentives* for excess force, other than the occasional prosecution of genuine bad-apples.

      1. I don’t know what happened, but it’s clear Obama acted stupidly.

        1. it’s clear Obama acted stupidly.

          I don’t know about that. I think he’s trying to protect his party’s reputation with municipal unions. It seems smart from the POV of being a politician.

          From the POV of “actually wanting to reduce police misconduct/excess use-of-force”? I’d have to believe there are politicians that actually want to accomplish something first before i accused them of making stupid decisions about it.

          1. Sure, he’s trying to triangulate somewhat. I was just referring to the comments he made about the cops in the Henry Gates incident.

            1. When he’s speaking to an urban audience, he’s anti-cop. When he’s speaking to cops, why, he loves cops. This is not surprising. Your surprise is surprising.

            2. ah, missed that reference. A good one to keep handy =

              On July 22, President Barack Obama said about the incident, “I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that. But I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home, and, number three, what I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there’s a long history in this country of African Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately.”

              Its sort of emblematic of Obama’s Rhetorical Sleight of Hand – how he can sometimes say two entirely contradictory things in a single statement and take credit for either part when needed.

              I think its about prefacing things with “something everyone agrees about”…

              ….”I believe we can all agree that racism is bad…” “and we all know there has been a lot of bad blood between blacks and cops, etc.”….

              …which basically allows him to say, “It was probably racism” while retaining the ability to deny he said any such thing.

              1. My favorite is how he constantly uses the phrase “the vast majority of Americans agree…”. You could hear that as Obama being in tune with the people, or that he is too big of a coward to do the right thing even if it’s unpopular.

                1. My favorite is how he constantly uses the phrase “the vast majority of Americans agree…

                  We can all agree the vast majority of Americans didn’t vote for the drooling moron currently occupying the White House.

      2. “”Too often, law enforcement gets scapegoated for broader failures of our society and our criminal-justice system,” he said. “You do your job with distinction no matter the challenges you face. But we can’t expect you to contain and control problems that the rest of us aren’t willing to face or do anything about? problems ranging from substandard education to a shortage of jobs and opportunity, an absence of drug-treatment programs, and laws that result in it being easier in too many neighborhoods for a young person to purchase a gun than a book.””

        So for Kelly Thomas, I can see a problem with a lack of treatment, what with him being nuts and wandering the streets. Not sure how that makes it inevitable that cops will kill him, but there’s a shred of a point here. But not a racial point, since Thomas was white.

        But what about those guys in South Carolina – the black guy shot in the back, and the white guy shot while trying to drive away from a dope sting? Were *they* killed because guns were too accessible to the youth? Or because of a lack of jobs?

        As for substandard education: Maybe the guy driving away lacked the education to tell the difference between an undercover cop and a random loon charging at him. Maybe the guy shot in the back should have had a “how not to get shot” class. So maybe Obama is saying that we should kick the party responsible for substandard education out of office?

        1. “But we can’t expect you to contain and control problems that the rest of us aren’t willing to face or do anything about? problems ranging from substandard education to a shortage of jobs and opportunity, an absence of drug-treatment programs, and laws that result in it being easier in too many neighborhoods for a young person to purchase a gun than a book without more government.”

          1. Man, no way I could hold my breath long enough to strike all that. Color me impressed!

            1. *gasp*

      3. How can legislators enforce “reform” on those tasked with using violence to enforce the will of the legislators? They can pass rules telling police departments to report uses of force and especially deadly force, but how do they enforce it? Who makes the cops do stuff they don’t want to do? They’re gonna stand beside each other on their blue line, rest their hands on their guns, and say “Make us.” Then what?

        1. Give bonuses to whichever police agency has fewer of its members in prison. They’ll compete with each other to put the cops from the other agencies in prison.

          Hey, it’s brainstorming, you’re not supposed to judge.

          1. They’ll compete with each other to put the cops from the other agencies in prison.

            Or they’ll continue to collude with each other to make them all look good.

        2. How can legislators enforce “reform” on those tasked with using violence to enforce the will of the legislators?

          They won’t try.

          The thing with cops is that its “all local” – they only answer to Mayors & local pols.

          If there’s ever going to be any actual national police-reform movement, it would have to start with one of the biggest city-PDs, then be recommended as the “new rules of the road” for all other PD’s to adopt.

          I don’t think body-cameras by themselves will do it, personally; i think there needs to be something that makes cops restrain themselves BEFORE they act, not just hold them accountable after the fact. That would be something like “Clearer rules/penalties for use of force”.

          Too often we celebrate cops who “De-escalate” situations – when it should be the norm rather than exception.

          1. They’re not trained to de-escalate. Quite the opposite. They’re trained to enforce their will with the maximum allowable force. To intimidate. To cause pain. To make people cry and soil themselves. To kill if opportunity arises. But de-escalate? That’s what pussies do. They’re not pussies. They’re always ready to start a fight. Fuck that shit.

            1. This.
              But to respond to the comment by Gilmore: I found the article yesterday fascinating, the one talking about Britain having trouble filling the armed police positions.
              (Anybody who wants can post the link, I’m not going to try from my crappy windows phone while half buzzed in the bar.)
              It seems that people who aren’t protected from the consequences of fucking up, don’t relish the opportunity to fuck up.

      4. e.g. San Francisco, last week =

        As part of his proposed two-year budget, Mayor Lee has suggested adding $17.5 million to the SFPD’s budget with the goal of instituting reforms and reducing violence, the AP reports via KRON4. The majority of those funds will go toward city-funded or community programs ABC7 reports, while other funds will go to training, Chief Suhr says.

        $17.5 million? Peanuts. You can do better, mayor.

        I mean NYC was suffering record levels of police-abuse suits in 2012 (which cost taxpayers hundreds of millions annually)… and in 2014-2015 experienced widespread protests of police abuse.

        And what did they do? De Blasio and the city council proposed adding 1000 more cops, and throwing nearly $200million more bucks at the NYPD

        It was trimmed before it went into effect; they never added any new cops AFAIK, but they got more money, of course.

  14. Hey, here’s a story combining two of libertarians’ favorite subjects!

    “Bottles and battles come together with the May 27 release of Saw Bones, a first-time collaboration between two Frederick[Maryland?]-based entities: Flying Dog Brewery and the National Museum of Civil War Medicine…

    “”We are able to get outside the four walls of our museum and reach an audience who probably never heard of us or Civil War medicine,” [Museum director David Price] says….

    “Saw Bones isn’t the first collaborative beer for the museum. In 2012, the team worked with Brewer’s Alley in Frederick to produce a classic English bitter, Antietam Ale, followed by the Proclamation Porter, a malty brew celebrating Abraham Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation in 1863.”

    1. The Proclamation Porter isn’t effective in Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, New Orleans or West Virginia.

      1. Kinda clever, but that’s my level of snark. We expect better from a Fifth-Level Posting Grand Wizard.

    2. So, two previous beers and no one has *still* heard of this museum but the THIRD ONE will be what it takes to put ’em on the map?

    1. It was spurred by anti Muslim hostility or anti Muslim hostility?

      1. Anti-hostility Muslims

        1. OR, follow me here, anti-Muslim hostilities.

          1. Muslim anti-hostilities

            1. Muslim hostility to aunties?

            2. I may be drunk by now. May be.

  15. Punchy the Cop would be the best kids’ show character.

    1. Right up there with Fire Marshal Bill.

  16. Whenever cops shoot, beat or stomp on suspects, this is the way they see themselves.

  17. The cop also accused her of having a plate for a Mirshubishi when she was driving a Honda. She was driving a Mitsubishi. He also tries to break her phone.

  18. Cops can do whatever they want because who’s going to stop them? The cops? Life ain’t fair.

    *takes another drink*

  19. Here’s something else to get enraged about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYdXcX3P9cM

    And this from the an article in The Guardian:

    Trump has voiced similar allegations of US Muslims celebrating the 9/11 attacks, a claim for which there is no documented evidence.

    Oh really?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMOZvbYJMvU

    1. Derpologist. Muslim populations have not seen 1% of what the U.S. Military is capable of. A biological attack of that size would have a response the world has not seen since WW2.

    2. Wait, how are Palestinians in the West Bank US Muslims?

      1. I presume Derp misread the quote he was responding to.

    3. So – Palestineans, celebrating in Palestine, are *US* Muslims?

      Oh, and that first video – when a guy is talking about someone carrying *4 pounds of Anthrax* (which would require a pretty hefty and sophisticated production and weaponization program and facilities) through the *tunnels* between the US and Mexico – which are 99.999999% used for drug smuggling as people smuggling isn’t lucrative enough – most of those guys come overland, not underground – and can kill 330,000 Americans in *one hour*, well, I don’t get upset. I just laugh at a guy old enough to be my . . . older brother, who still takes seriously things like ‘could Batman really beat Superman’. He’s living in a fantasy world.

      1. Also what kind of drug smuggler would allow his/her tunnels to be used to kill of off half of his/her customers ?
        The loss of profit would be small in comparison to the heat that would bring down on his/her operation.

    4. Derpologist step away from the Derp. I think you need a break. I love reading your posts, though I think you have spent to much time in the Derp. A lot of us do care about your well being.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGKNaIXtBZQ

  20. Can we at least purge the “animal rights” fags? Or let them purge me so I won’t have any confusion about who supports human liberty.

    (You Must Fight to Live) On the Planet of the Apes

    1. I’d tend to agree, but that link is not going to make your point.

  21. Totally OT:
    “Money Monster”
    […]
    “Lee Gates is a bombastic TV personality whose popular financial network show has made him the money wiz of Wall Street. But after he hawks a high tech stock that mysteriously crashes, an irate investor takes Gates, his crew, and his ace producer Patty Fenn hostage live on air. Unfolding in real time, Gates and Fenn must find a way to keep themselves alive while simultaneously uncovering the truth behind a tangle of big money lies.”
    http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/money_monster/
    George Clooney and Julia Roberts star in a movie where people who make a lot of money by providing capital are evil, horrible people who might be republicans, as opposed to wonderful, terrific people who make a lot of money pretending to be someone they aren’t! And certainly AREN’T rethugs!

  22. I’m finally somewhere where the timestamps on these posts makes sense. This place fucking sucks.

      1. Anywhere Jimmy Buffett is sucks.

        1. Perhaps a change in latitude would change your attitude.

  23. Punch a peasant, get a paid vacation.

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  26. Ed
    Sorry, you are missing the boat. He’s not “on the street”. So you only believe in due process when it suits your agenda. If this cop is dirty and he gets his day in court and loses and then goes back on the street I would agree with you. Depriving someone, anyone, even a trusted official, from due process is exactly what Libertarians hate about abuse of power.
    I think you are wrong on this one.

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