An independent arbitrator has ruled in favor of San Juan police officer JP Galindo after he was suspended and subsequently fired for using excessive force on a man who was placed under arrest back in mid-December of last year.
The incident, which was recorded on another officer’s body cam and later leaked to KGBT Channel 4 News, involved a man who had just been placed under arrest for assaulting a police officer. In the video, you can see that shortly after the suspect had been subdued and seemed to be conforming with officers’ instructions, Galindo arrives at the scene. You can see Galindo exiting his vehicle, exchanging some words with the suspect, placing his hands on the suspect’s shoulders and kneeing him in the groin. Immediately after, you can hear the suspect groaning in pain as he falls to the floor.
The original KGBT Broadcast breaking this story:
After being fired, Galindo appealed to an independent arbitrator, who subsequently ruled in his favor citing “reasonable conformity” based on circumstances.
What the fuck?
I typically give cops the benefit of the doubt when faced with split-second life and death decisions. Cops, on a daily basis, see the worst in society. Broken homes, abuse, rape; I won’t be so quick to judge a person who has to take in all of that shit and still continue to lead a normal life. I believe most actions taken by police officers are justified, even the actions committed in error.
However, I am not naive. I know the system isn’t immune to cancers who don the badge and take action out of malice. This was, easily, one of those instances. Galindo shouldn’t be wearing a badge, and I have no clue just what the fuck this arbitrator was thinking when they considered the “totality of circumstances.”
Here are the facts from the video that could help us get to that “totality”:
1) Suspect gets arrested
2) There are multiple units already at the scene
3) Galindo arrives at the scene pretty fucking late
4) 2 officers have a hold of the suspect before Galindo approaches him
5) Words are exchanged
6) Galindo knees suspect in the crotch
Your most reliable witness is that video, and the totality of circumstances given to us by the video says that Galindo should have remained fired. Where in the “totality” of these circumstances can you justify what amounts to basically a sucker punch?
The answer: You can’t.