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Puerto Rican Police Department: Abuse Discovered; Leading Activists, Lawyers and Scholars Examine Findings by the Department of Justice

November 9, 2011

CUNY Law’s Center on Latino and Latina Rights and Equality (CLORE), the Puerto Rican Bar Association, and the National Lawyers Guild International Committee will lead a panel discussion on the egregious abuses exposed by a U.S Department of Justice report on Puerto Rico Police Department practices.

The panelists are:

  • Jonathan M. Smith, Chief, Special Litigation Section Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Judith Berkan, Civil Rights Attorney at Berkan/Mendez
  • Professor Jodie Roure, Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY Jennifer Turner, American Civil Liberties Union
  • Professor Jenny Rivera, CUNY School of Law and CLORE Director (Moderator)

In 2008, the Department of Justice (DOJ) began investigating the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) for alleged violations of federal law. In its report, the DOJ found “reasonable cause to believe that PRPD officers engage in a pattern and practice of:

  • excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment;
  • unreasonable force and other misconduct designed to suppress the exercise of protected First Amendment rights; and
  • unlawful searches and seizures in violation of the Fourth Amendment.”

The report includes the DOJ findings and recommendations on how to reform and improve some the PRPD’s systems and practices.

For additional information and to access the DOJ Report, please visit

Puerto Rico’s Police Department Practices: A Closer Look at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Report

Tuesday, November 15, 2011
6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

New York County Surrogate’s Court
31 Chambers Street
5th Floor, Room 503
New York, NY 10007

Reception to follow.

Please RSVP at by November 13, 2011

CLE pending

CONTACT: Abbi Leman,, 718-340-4472

The Center on Latino and Latina Rights and Equality at CUNY School of Law focuses on issues impacting the Latino community in the United States, with the goal of developing progressive strategies for legal reform. CLORE seeks to provide educational information for lawyers, law students, scholars and the general public on the status of Latinos and Latinas, as well as to advocate for expanded civil rights in the areas that affect the growing US Latino population.


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