By Johnnie Rosario
(Tumon, Guam) Former prosecutor Peter Santos wrote to Kandit News that he knew Guam Police Officer Joey Aguon was lying about striking Joebert Carlos with an open-handed hit to Mr. Carlos's gut, and left Mr. Aguon's statement untouched via the magistrates complaint against Mr. Carlos. This information directly contradicts the statements made by Attorney General Leevin Camacho and Chief Prosecutor Basil O'Mallan during a news conference Tuesday, where they explained why they would not pursue charges against Mr. Aguon for police brutality.
At the heart of their reason to not prosecute is their so-called belief based on the viral video of the assault that Mr. Aguon struck Mr. Carlos with an open palm, and not a closed fist, which would have constituted excessive police force.
Witness Anthony Smith, who recorded the viral video, said he clearly saw Mr. Aguon strike his cuffed victim with a closed fist hard.
Mr. Camacho and Mr. O'Mallan said that according to the witnesses - the three police officers standing behind Mr. Carlos and Mr. Aguon - their colleague struck the cuffed man with an open palm.
The video clearly depicts Mr. Aguon hurling a closed fist toward Mr. Carlos at high velocity before Mr. Carlos recoils from the blow.
The police officers's statements match those contained in the December 4, 2019 magistrates complaint against Mr. Carlos for his arrest on December 3. In it, Mr. Santos informs the court that "JOEBERT BOISER CARLOS thrust himself backwards towards the officer and kicked the rear bumper of the patrol car. The officer then conducted an open palm strike to the abdomen of JOEBERT BOISER CARLOS to gain compliance, after which JOEBERT BOISER CARLOS was placed back into the patrol car."
In a previous story posted on Kandit and on its accompanying Facebook post, Mr. Santos made it clear that the information contained in the magistrates complaint was an untouched version of the police report by the officers involved in the arrest, including Mr. Aguon.
Last Wednesday, Mr. Santos messaged Kandit to explain why he had not submitted a magistrates complaint with truthful information about the closed-fist strike following his review of the viral video in the Carlos case.
"If I changed what he (Aguon) submitted it would not put him on the hook for his wrongdoing," Mr. Santos stated. "I HAD to use his very words to illustrate his actions. I needed to preserve his actions, including his report. So investigators can later piece it all together."
But the investigators at the AG's office didn't piece that together at all, and certainly did not take the position that Mr. Aguon and the other officers were lying.
Johnnie Rosario: "So you knew he was lying but needed to use it so he can be held accountable for the alleged assault against the person he arrested? Like helping to make sure Officer Aguon doesn't get away with what he did?"
Peter Santos: "To show his lie to the AG's office. Yes."
We asked, "But then you used his lies to have criminal charges filed against the person who he was arresting (Carlos). What happens to him (Aguon) now?"
"The investigation against Aguon will turn on the video and his report... Which I merely transposed which will show his actions. If I had modified the report he might not have been held accountable." - Peter Santos to Johnnie Rosario
Johnnie Rosario: "Are prosecutors allowed to use police reports that they know are not truthful? Is that fair?
Peter Santos: "So that the investigators can retrace. Prosecutors are at the mercy of the police reports. We cannot tell what's what from what."
Mr. Santos was upset with Kandit for our assertion during one of our newscasts that he was helping Mr. Aguon to cover up the police brutality incident. To the contrary, he tells us, as a prosecutor he was helping to expose Mr. Aguon:
"Also consider this, if I had hid that fact and not put it on the magistrate complaint you would have never known what he wrote, police reports don't get released. So in actuality I was exposing him and you guys got it exactly wrong and claimed I was covering up for him."
And, yet, on Tuesday, despite the AG's office knowing Mr. Aguon was lying, the attorney general decided not to prosecute him for police brutality.