An Indiana police officer responding to a burglary call ended up fondling his genitals and making lewd sexual remarks to the victim, who happened to be recording his actions on her cell phone.
As a result, East Chicago police officer Arcides Santiago was suspended for six months.
Had the incident occurred a few miles up the road across the border in Illinois, it could very well likely have been the victim facing a prison sentence for recording the cop.
Given his tendency to fondle his genitals in his professional capacity, it shouldn’t surprise us that Santiago is also an aspiring politician, having unsuccessfully run for city council last year.
Even more surprising is that East Chicago city officials wanted him fired.
But the decision was up to the East Chicago Board of Public Safety, which under state law approves terminations or suspensions of more than five days.
According to the Northwest Indiana Times:
Board President Richard Morrisroe said it was a single incident, and the board didn’t believe Santiago’s actions called for termination. He said Santiago’s six-month suspension is appropriate for the circumstances of the case.
“We certainly thought it was serious or else we would not have granted the decision we did,” Morrisroe said. “It’s not a light sentence.”
However, East Chicago City Attorney Carla Morgan and former police chief Gus Flores, who retired shortly after the decision was made, wanted him fired.
And the department’s current chief wants him prosecuted.
East Chicago Police Chief Mark Becker, who took over the department shortly after the board rendered its decision, said the police force may forward its investigation to the Lake County prosecutor’s office for consideration of criminal charges. He said Santiago’s actions were “inconsistent with the standards of professional law enforcement.”
So maybe Santiago’s law enforcement days are over.
At least he’ll always have a future in politics.
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