An aggressive Texas cop with a history of complaints and a reputation for not caring about those complaints was placed on paid leave after he was caught on camera kneeing a handcuffed man in the groin.
San Juan police officer Juan Pablo Galindo was captured by his colleague’s body cam on the evening of December 14.
The officer in question is Juan Pablo “JP” Galindo, who’s bounced around various Valley law enforcement agencies before landing in San Juan approximately six years ago. According to one source, he’s known as a guy who doesn’t really care if people like him. One of his favorite sayings, according to one police source, is:
“I’m here to do a job and that’s it. I’m not here to be liked.”
However, San Juan Police Chief Juan Gonzalez doesn’t believe kneeing handcuffed suspects in the groin is part of his job description.
“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,” Gonzalez told KGBT.
“[It was] to look at these incidents from a different perspective – an independent perspective,” he added.
Gonzalez, however, is not happy that somebody within the department leaked the video to KGBT, a CBS affiliate in Southern Texas.
At least that’s how he explained it to Advance News Journal:
First, he’s not happy that one of his own officers leaked the video to Channel 4. A clear violation of departmental policy.
“Those types of leaks, those type of unauthorized release of evidence can potentially hurt the cases that we’re investigating. Really, it’s tampering with evidence. We’re investigating the situation. Leaks hurt the case; they don’t help.”
On social media, some are saying that if the body-cam video hadn’t been leaked to Channel 4’s Ashly Custer, the story would have been buried.
Not so, said Gonzalez.
“Since I arrived in San Juan as police chief in 2009, I’ve terminated at least 14 people following a complete internal investigation. So no one can say that I don’t take personnel incidents seriously if they rise to the level of misconduct, because I do.”
People want to ask, why is JP Galindo suspended with pay? Because departmental policy stipulates that if an officer is arrested for something, he or she is suspended without pay, said Gonzalez.
“If they’re suspended due to an internal investigation, it’s a suspension with pay.”
San Juan police officers were responding to a call where a 17-year-old runaway girl was found with her 19-year-old boyfriend, who is the man Galindo ended up kneeing.
The handcuffed suspect, Victor Manuel Aguirre, was arrested for resisting arrest and allegedly assaulting a cop.
Galindo does not show up to the scene until after the man is already in handcuffs.
“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,” Gonzalez said, adding that unfortunately this is not the first complaint made against Galindo’s behavior. Galindo may return to the department, depending what is decided once the investigation concludes.
Gonzalez did not offer details on those complaints but we can imagine they would be along the same lines, except maybe not caught on camera.
“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 added.