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.
“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.”
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.