A Prince George’s County, Md., officer who held a gun to a man’s head, allegedly just to impress his buddies, was convicted on two charges Wednesday.
Officer Jenchesky Santiago’s conviction for first-degree assault and misconduct in office prompted Police Chief Mark Magaw to condemn his actions and recommend that he be terminated, the Washington Post reports.
Video of the incident, which dates back to May 2014, shows Santiago holding a gun directly to the man’s forehead and taunting him repeatedly.
“I dare you to f–king fight me, son,” Santiago can be heard saying in the video.
The victim in the video, identified as William Cunningham, said that he was terrified and that he still thinks every day about the traffic stop near his front lawn. “I thought I was going to die right there,” he told the Post. “I just thought it was over.”
He reported the incident to the Prince George’s County Police Department, which followed up by alerting the state attorney’s office.
“I’m thankful justice was served,” Cunningham said.
According to the report, last year, Santiago was riding with two friends from New Jersey in his police car, even though he was not authorized to have visitors with him.
“We think, unfortunately, what happened is that he was showing off for his friends,” Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks said.
Cunningham’s cousin had reportedly stopped at Cunningham’s home in Bowie, Md., to drop him off. The two men were chatting in the car when Santiago pulled up next to them in a cruiser and began questioning them. According to Alsobrooks, Santiago continually asked the two what they were doing, even when they explained that it was Cunningham’s home.
Santiago told the men that they were parked illegally—which prosecutorrs have said was untrue. Cunningham left the car and moved to go inside, when Santiago backed up and parked his cruiser and ran to Cunningham at the door of his home, unholstering his weapon.
“I was shocked. At the instant he pointed the gun to my head, I was shocked,” Cunningham said.
In the video, Cunningham can be seen standing, seemingly frozen, as Santiago holds the gun to his forehead. Cunningham can be heard briefly repeating, “He put a gun to my head. He put a gun to my head.”
Witnesses who saw the exchange said that Santiago also said, “We’re PG police, and we shoot people,” in a threat that was not caught on video.
According to the Post, Santiago will serve a mandatory minimum sentence of at least five years without parole for use of a firearm in a violent crime. In addition, Alsobrooks said, he could face a term of up to 45 years.