Fired Oakland cop pleads not guilty to false imprisonment, brandishing firearm

A rookie Oakland police officer who was fired after his arrest for pulling a gun on a painter at his Emeryville apartment building pleaded not guilty to charges of false imprisonment and brandishing a firearm on Friday, according to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office.

Matthew Santos was scheduled to return to court in Hayward Tuesday morning for a pretrial hearing, according to court records. He remains free on his own recognizance.

Santos was arrested on Feb. 18 when he returned home to find a painter working on the open door to his apartment and a building security guard standing by. Despite a notice that the door would be painted being left on door five days prior, Santos became alarmed and pulled a gun on the painter, according to court documents.

The frightened painter tried to run, but Santos asked who opened the door. Pointing the gun at the painter's back, Santos guided him to the building's leasing office, where he was arrested when police arrived.

Police made no public disclosure of the arrest until April, when Santos was charged. He was on a probationary period with the department at
the time and released.

Santos's arrest is one of a string of public disclosures of Oakland police misconduct this year.

Another Oakland police officer, Cullen William Faeth, was charged with misdemeanor battery, trespassing and refusing to leave private property charges in connection with an alleged drunken assault on a county probation officer and her husband in December.

Four Oakland police officers were placed on leave and two resigned over an ongoing internal affairs investigation into allegations of sex with an underage girl that surfaced after the suicide of Officer Brendan O'Brien last year.

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