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.