A Texas police detective has been suspended for 20 days for dragging a handcuffed Black man down the street after arresting him months ago in a violent encounter recorded on a video that was made public this week.
Investigators said Detective David Pantoja and Officer Robert Ferguson, both of the San Antonio Police Department (SAPD), handcuffed Joshua Coney then “unnecessarily dragged” him while he pleaded for medical assistance during the arrest on the afternoon of Jan. 30 in San Antonio.
Pantoja also issued Coney a citation for failure to ID during the incident, which, according to officials, is not a citeable offense.
Investigators reportedly believe Pantoja didn’t understand the laws and ordinances which he was trying to enforce.
The officers claim they dragged Coney down the street because he attempted to place both of his legs under the rear of Pantoja’s patrol car to pretend as though he had been run over by the police vehicle. They also claimed they had to drag the man because he “made his body go limp.”
A video of the incident was published on YouTube by KSAT 12 on Thursday. It shows both officers dragging the man down the street by his arms, while his feet dangled behind him.
Pantoja, who has worked for the SAPD since 1996, objected to the suspension at first but eventually agreed to all disciplinary action. Officer Ferguson was also suspended for six days for his involvement in the incident.
This is not the first incident when officer Pantoja’s judgment was questioned.
On July 9, he sent emails from his personal email account to reporters at KSAT 12 after the two journalists were shown while reporting on a story about a man in a standoff with San Antonio police. In the email, Pantoja told the journalists to think of the officers who took part in the standoff. The email sparked a formal complaint from a reporter who asked if this was the first time Pantoja sent emails to victims of other violent crimes. Officials stated Pantoja was disciplined by his superior officer.
Below is the video of David Pantoja and Robert Ferguson dragging Joshua Coney. Were officers wrong for how they handled Coney? Could they have handled this situation differently? Also, do you believe a 20-day suspension was enough?