February 5, 2023

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Former Puerto Rico Police Officer Who Utilised Gun to Assault a Little one Convicted of Civil Legal rights Offenses | OPA

Subsequent a 7 days-very long trial, previous Law enforcement of Puerto Rico (POPR) Officer Jose Cartagena, 47, was convicted Tuesday for assaulting a juvenile target and then attempting to protect up the abuse by falsifying an formal law enforcement report and generating misleading statements to a nearby formal.

Evidence presented at demo established that, on Nov. 15, 2014, Cartagena, together with co-defendants Carlos Nieves, Jimmy Davis and Shylene Lopez, all previous POPR officers, pursued C.C., the juvenile victim, in a police car even though C.C. fled from the defendants on his bicycle. During the pursuit, Nieves shot C.C. in the back again. When the defendants caught up to C.C., C.C. complied with law enforcement commands to position his arms at the rear of his again though lying facial area down on the ground.  Cartagena then held the victim’s hands collectively and struck the victim in the back of the head with a gun. The defendants then handcuffed C.C. and placed him in the backseat of the police car or truck. On the way to the law enforcement station, Cartagena struck the handcuffed juvenile sufferer in the deal with numerous times. The defendants’ abuse essential C.C. to seek treatment at a regional healthcare facility. 

Cartagena was charged with two counts of depriving C.C. of his constitutional legal rights below coloration of regulation for the assaults, and two counts of obstruction of justice, a person for falsifying a law enforcement report by falsely stating that C.C. been given his injuries when he fell of his bicycle, instead than from the defendants’ abuse, and just one for making deceptive statements to a neighborhood prosecutor about the incident. The jury discovered Cartagena guilty of all expenses. Prior to trial, Nieves, Davis and Lopez pleaded guilty to violating C.C.’s constitutional legal rights in the course of the incident.  

“All children in our region have the proper to be cost-free from too much and illegal use of force at the fingers of regulation enforcement officers,” explained Assistant Legal professional Common Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Legal rights Division. “This defendant was convicted for utilizing a gun and his fists to violently assault a handcuffed boy in his custody, and then lying to officers about it. The Justice Department will continue to vigorously enforce our nation’s civil legal rights legal guidelines and keep accountable officers who break the law and undermine community have faith in.”

“The prosecution of conditions like this 1 is vital to our office environment, the citizens of Puerto Rico, and the law enforcement group at big. While the huge vast majority of legislation enforcement officers execute their responsibilities with honor and professionalism, individuals who violate the civil rights of many others will be held accountable,” claimed U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow for the District of Puerto Rico. “Officer Cartagena abused the public’s trust when he violated the civil legal rights of a slight and his prosecution underscores that no a person is higher than the legislation, which include legislation enforcement officers who abuse their authority.”

“The FBI mission is to secure the people and uphold the Constitution and our civil rights system is at the extremely core of that mission,” claimed Special Agent in Charge Joseph Gonzalez of the FBI San Juan Industry Business office. “Although the broad bulk of law enforcement officers are superior, truthful public servants, it only takes just one civil rights violation to shatter general public believe in in the badge. This is why these circumstances are of utmost importance to the FBI and this conviction is proof of our motivation to look into these situations aggressively to carry justice to the victims.”

At sentencing, Cartagena faces a greatest of 20 decades in jail. Sentencing will be set by the court docket on a potential date. A federal district court docket choose will figure out any sentence just after thinking of the U.S. Sentencing Suggestions and other statutory elements.

Assistant Attorney Common Clarke, U.S. Attorney Muldrow and Specific Agent in Cost González made the announcement.

The FBI San Juan Field Workplace investigated the situation. Assistant U.S. Attorney José Contreras for the District of Puerto Rico and Demo Attorney Avner Shapiro of the Civil Legal rights Division’s Legal Part prosecuted the situation.