Sen. José Luis Dal­mau San­ti­a­go, Pop­u­lar Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty, asked the Sen­ate to inves­ti­gate the vio­lent acts which occurred on June 30 dur­ing a protest march in front of the Capitol.

El senador José Luis Dalmau. (Josian Bruno/NotiCel)

El senador José Luis Dal­mau. (Josian Bruno/NotiCel)

Dal­mau San­ti­a­go said the Sen­ate, an insti­tu­tion which rep­re­sents the peo­ple and which should seek the pro­tec­tion and wel­fare of its cit­i­zens, should ini­ti­ate a thor­ough inves­ti­ga­tion into the vio­lence that took place in front of the Capitol.

“The pos­si­ble vio­la­tions of civ­il rights by police offi­cers against pro­test­ers who were exer­cis­ing their con­sti­tu­tion­al right to free speech must be investigated.

We must take the nec­es­sary steps to avoid these events in the future. The Sen­ate must abide by the words of its Pres­i­dent who has said he will “uphold the Police Chief’s vow to guar­an­tee the con­sti­tu­tion­al and civ­il rights of our cit­i­zens,” said Dal­mau Santiago.

The minor­i­ty sen­ate leader indi­cat­ed that the videos tak­en by secu­ri­ty cam­eras in the Capi­tol must be care­ful­ly stud­ied to iden­ti­fy spe­cif­ic cas­es of unjus­ti­fied aggres­sion that war­rant refer­ral to the Jus­tice department.

He explained that this inves­ti­ga­tion would “assure the com­mit­ment made by the Sen­ate Pres­i­dent to inves­ti­gate the per­for­mance of the Police Chief in the exe­cu­tion of his actions.”

Dal­mau Santiago’s peti­tion was made under the Sen­ate Res­o­lu­tion 1433, which orders both the Judi­cial Penal and Safe­ty com­mit­tee and the Judi­cial Affairs com­mit­tee to investigate.

The sen­a­tor recalled that the Bar Asso­ci­a­tion car­ried out its own inves­ti­ga­tion of the events at the Capi­tol, aimed at pro­tect­ing people’s civ­il rights.

He added that the report pre­sent­ed by the Bar Asso­ci­a­tion includes an eval­u­a­tion of the videos and pho­tographs of the more than 48 per­sons inter­viewed and clear­ly demon­strates that the police used exces­sive and dis­pro­por­tion­ate force against the marchers.

Even though the report indi­cates that there were instances where the marchers cursed and hurled objects at the police, it also reveals that police offi­cers used force, tac­tics and aggres­sion that was dis­pro­por­tion­ate to the provo­ca­tion they wished to repel.

The sen­a­tor revealed that these vio­la­tions had the full endorse­ment of Police Chief José Figueroa San­cha, whose back­ground denotes a mis­man­age­ment of civ­il rights infractions.

Dal­mau San­ti­a­go added that Figueroa San­cha, as sec­ond in com­mand in the Puer­to Rico FBI, head­ed an oper­a­tive against lead­ers of the Inde­pen­dence Par­ty which end­ed with the unlaw­ful entry of a build­ing in Rio Piedras.

He also said that Figueroa San­cha was a key play­er in the assas­si­na­tion of Fil­ib­er­to Oje­da Rios, leader of the “Macheteros” on Sep­tem­ber 23, 2005. Oje­da Rios bled to death from wounds inflict­ed by FBI agents dur­ing an attack on his res­i­dence in Hormigueros.