Reading Police Officer facing charges after trying to stop woman from recording traffic stop with cell phone
READING, Pa.- A member of the Reading Police Department is facing charges after attempting to stop a woman from recording him during a traffic stop.
Jesus Santiago-DeJesus, 27, is charged with official oppression, criminal attempt of tampering with evidence, and false reports to law enforcement.
On April 5, Santiago-DeJesus made a traffic stop at about 12:25 p.m. Marcelina Cintron-Garcia, the driver of the vehicle, and Joel Rodriguez, the passenger, emerged from the vehicle and began to interact with the officer.
Santiago-DeJesus held both Cintron-Garcia and Rodriguez outside of the car, when they both began to record him on their cell phones. The officer called for backup, and ordered Rodriguez to sit down on the sidewalk and hand over his phone. Rodriguez complied with the officers request.
During the course of the investigation, a verbal altercation became heated between the detainees and the officer, with Santiago-DeJesus ordering both parties to sit on a step of a row-home. Soon after, backup officers arrived and Cintron-Garcia continued to tape the officers.
Santiago-DeJesus demanded that Cintron-Garcia hand over her phone but she refused. He attempted to take the phone from her, but Rodriguez used his body to shield her. The backup officers removed Rodriguez and handcuffed him on the sidewalk while Santiago-DeJesus wrestled the phone away from Cintron-Garcia and slammed it on the ground in an attempt to break it.
Officers then arrested Cintron-Garcia, who had to be transported to Reading Hospital for injuries she suffered during the arrest. The charges filed against the two parties of the traffic stop were dropped.
Santiago-DeJesus joined the Reading Police Department in July of 2012, and is now facing multiple charges.