PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, MD — There is a recent phrase that has been coined that goes, “Black people are only one police stop from having their names become a hashtag on Twitter”. If the saying holds true–and unfortunately it does a disproportionate number of times–then a Melanoid man named William Cunningham was certainly in danger of having his name as a trending topic on social media. An incident occurred on the afternoon of May 10, 2014 which saw Mr. Cunningham’s life hang in the balance at the hands of a white supremacist race soldier named Jenchesky Santiago, who served as a member of the Prince George’s County Police Department.
According to various sources, Santiago (who is white) allegedly felt emboldened to partake in an over-the-top demonstration of his authority as a law enforcement official when he was reported to have had two friends riding along with him in his squad car, which he wasn’t supposed to do. Another glaring violation committed by Santiago reported by various sources was that he engaged in extremely tasteless and threatening commentary towards Cunningham. According to Raw Story, Cunningham and his cousin Kennieth Smith were innocently minding their business when Santiago aggressively approached them with the following statements:
“Y’all gonna learn about officer Santiago today. I just got back from Iraq. I’m not scared of you all (Blacks).” Cunningham made a testimony in court that Santiago also said, “You need to watch your attitude because us P.G. cops, we shoot people.”
Here is a video snippet of Jenchesky Santiago’s unprofessional and unruly behavior.
The video above was obtained from a cell phone video recording which has been under wraps in the possession of the PG County officials until it eventually went viral. PG County Police Chief Mark Magaw is “recommending termination”. Magaw released the following statement in regards to the suspension of Jenchesky Santiago.
“The actions Officer Santiago chose to take that day are his alone. His behavior is flagrant, appalling and isolated,” Magaw said at a press conference. “His actions are among the worst I’ve seen as Chief of Police and that will be taken into account when I make a decision about his employment.”
Chief Magaw on suspended Officer Santiago: "I am recommending termination." pic.twitter.com/vcgEjIuKzw
— PGPDNEWS (@PGPDNews) December 2, 2015
Santiago is currently suspended without pay and will be sentenced on January 8th, 2016.William Cunningham and his wife Shaketta are seeking $12 million dollars in damages via a separate lawsuit they filed, due to William’s civil rights violations being violated by the race soldier.