Prince George's County Police Officer Found Guilty of Threatening Man - NBC4 Washington

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Prince George's County Police Officer Found Guilty of Threatening Man

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    Cellphone video helped convict a police officer for excessive use of force. It shows him holding a gun to a man's head. Prince George's County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins reports. (Published Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015)

    A Prince George's County police officer was found guilty of pointing a gun at the head of a Bowie, Maryland, man.

    Officer Jenchesky Santiago was found guilty Wednesday of first and second-degree assault, misconduct in office and the use of a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence. 

    Cellphone video played during the trial showed Santiago saying, "I dare you to f---ing fight me, son," while pointing his service weapon at William Cunningham's head.

    Cunningham and his cousin were sitting in a car parked in front of his Bowie home in May 2014 when Santiago approached and asked why they were there. After an exchange of words, Cunningham decided to go inside, but Santiago ordered him back in the car.

    A witness testified Santiago also yelled that Prince George's County officers shoot people.

    In his opening statement, Santiago's attorney said, "I don't believe my client is a good police officer or demonstrated good police work, but I also don't believe he is a criminal."

    Prince George's County Police Chief Mark Magaw condemned Santiago's actions in a post on the department's website

    "The actions Officer Santiago chose to take that day are his alone. His behavior is flagrant, appalling and isolated," Magaw said. 

    Santiago will be sentenced Jan. 8. He faces up to 45 years in prison.

    Magaw said he'll recommend that Santiago be fired, but there is a process they must follow.