Blog of Rights

Puerto Rico Delegation Finds Police Abuse Against Students, Protestors

By Suzanne Ito, ACLU at 3:00pm

The ACLU's fact-finding mission to Puerto Rico wrapped up yesterday afternoon with a press conference. The AP reported today:

A celebrity-enhanced ACLU delegation criticized Puerto Rico’s government Tuesday for using police to keep the island’s main university system open during a strike over a new fee, with members saying they found clear evidence in which officers abused students during the protests.

The delegation, which included Oscar-nominated actress Rosie Perez and former major league baseball player Carlos Delgado, said the initial findings of a fact-finding mission found a pattern of excessive police force over the past 18 months involving students, union leaders and journalists.

[...] Perez said at a news conference that she was overwhelmed by the testimony of students who said they were brutalized or sexually harassed and groped by police during a series of violent clashes over the $800 fee and budget cuts.

Rosie Perez and ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero spoke at the press conference:

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Please note that by playing this clip You Tube and Google will place a long-term cookie on your computer. Please see You Tube's privacy statement on their website and Google's privacy statement on theirs to learn more. To view the ACLU's privacy statement, click here.

An advisory council including actor Benicio del Toro, former governor and U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey, and filmmaker and political activist Kerry Kennedy, will follow up on the delegation's findings and recommendations. We'll release a final report on the findings at the end of the summer.

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