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Puerto Rico Police Officers Face Civil Rights Charges

Associate Police Superintendent Juan Rodriguez says the three officers will be suspended
By The News · 07 of September 2016 16:45:12
Police stand across Ashford Avenue in San Juan, REUTERS/Ana Martinez, photo: Reuters/Ana Martinez

Four Puerto Rico police officers have been charged with civil rights violations and obstruction of justice in the latest hit against a department undergoing a federally mandated overhaul.

The U.S. Justice Department said Wednesday that three male officers and one former female officer are accused of using excessive force during a November 2014 police operation. Officials say the officers choked, slapped and hit a suspect in the head with a gun and then shot him as he was fleeing.

Associate Police Superintendent Juan Rodriguez says the three officers will be suspended. The accused worked in an anti-narcotics unit.

Puerto Rico’s police department is in the midst of a 10-year reform after U.S. prosecutors released a report in 2011 that accused local officers of illegal killings, corruption and civil rights violations.