Justice Department Report States Puerto Rican Police Guilty of Serious Abuse and Civil Rights Violations


In what will be seen as a major blow to the administration of Republican pro-statehood Governor Luis Fortuño, the United States Justice Department will release a 116-page report today that will accuse the Puerto Rican police force, the second largest force in the United States, of police abuse and major civil rights violations.

The New York Times published an article today that reveals several points about the report. It is clear that the Justice Department will not be diplomatic in its choice of words for the island's leadership, which was responsible for sending police during student protests at the University of Puerto Rico earlier this year and in 2010.

As the article states:

The report, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, says the 17,000-officer force routinely conducts illegal searches and seizures without warrants. It accuses the force of a pattern of attacking nonviolent protesters and journalists in a manner “designed to suppress the exercise of protected First Amendment rights.”

And it says investigators “uncovered troubling evidence” that law enforcement officers in Puerto Rico appear to routinely discriminate against people of Dominican descent and “fail to adequately police sex assault and domestic violence” cases — including spousal abuse by fellow officers.

“Unfortunately,” the report found, “far too many P.R.P.D. officers have broken their oath to uphold the rule of law, as they have been responsible for acts of crime and corruption and have routinely violated the constitutional rights of the residents of Puerto Rico.”

The report is likely to intensify a sense of distress among the nearly four million American citizens who live on Puerto Rico, where violent crime has spilled into well-to-do areas. While violent crime has plummeted in most of the mainland United States, the murder rate in Puerto Rico is soaring. In 2011, there have been 786 homicides — 117 more than at this point last year.

Rather than helping to solve the crime wave, the Puerto Rico Police Department is part of the problem, the report contends. In October, the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested 61 officers from the department in the largest police-corruption operation in bureau history. And the arrest of Puerto Rican police officers, the report says, is hardly rare.

Tell Us What You Think!
jlop28vislophis says:

Not true that there are 3 political status options for Puerto
The United States (US) government has made Puerto Ricans
believe that there are 3 political status options for Puerto Rico.That is a lie.The purpose for that is to have Puerto Ricans
fight amongst themselves.The plan has
been a huge success!Puerto Rico has
been a colony of the United States for 116 years, and judging by the 80% voter
turnout in the colonial elections, the majority of us has not realized that we
have been lied to.
In reality, there is only one option.The United Nations (UN) in 1960 determined
that colonialism is a crime against humanity.Therefore, the only thing that Puerto Rico can do is to become her own
nation.That means that the US must
give Puerto Rico the sovereignty that the US illegally took away from her by
virtue of the July 25, 1898 military invasion.
Thus far, the US government has ignored the 33 UN
resolutions asking it to immediately decolonize Puerto Rico.Instead, it has tried to hide these
petitions, and at the same time appear to believe in democracy by pushing for
plebiscites so that Puerto Ricans could decide between colonialism, being a US
state, or independence (decolonization as required by the UN).
The problem with the US pushed plebiscites are that they:
don’t comply with international law that prohibits
a nation to have a colony.
don’t comply with international law that
requires the empire to give the sovereignty it illegally took away to its
don’t comply with international law that
requires that to have free elections, that country must be free first.
have 2 options that are not permitted by
international law- continuing being a colony and becoming a state of the
country that has the colony.For the
option of becoming a state of the country that has the colony to be considered,
the colony must first become her own nation (decolonized).
This is why we have to peacefully protest 3 times a year
until the US government complies with the UN resolutions for Puerto Rico
José M
López Sierra