Former Puerto Rico Police Officer with the Carolina Drug Unit, far l., is facing up to 10 years in jail.
By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Tues. May 9, 2017: A female former cop in Puerto Rico could spend the next ten years of her life in prison.
Shylene Lopez is facing the maximum decade behind bars after pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to violating the civil rights of a juvenile arrestee.
Lopez, a former Puerto Rico Police Officer with the Carolina Drug Unit, with the Carolina Drug Unit, according to an indictment unsealed in September 2016, and co-defendants Jose Cartagena, Carlos Nieves, and Jimmy Davis, all POPR officers, used excessive force against C.C., a minor arrested for drug possession, during a police operation on Nov. 15, 2014.
As a part of her guilty plea, Lopez admitted that on Nov. 15, 2014, while she and the three other cops pursued the youth who is only being named as C.C., from a police vehicle, and while C.C. fled on his bicycle, former Officer Nieves exited the police vehicle and shot C.C. in the back with his gun.
The other former cops eventually caught up with C.C., who complied with police commands to place his hands behind his back while lying face down on the ground.
Lopez admitted that then Officer Cartagena held C.C.’s hands together and struck him on the back of the head with a gun. The officers then placed C.C. in the rear of the police vehicle between Nieves and Lopez.
Lopez admitted that on the way to the police station, Davis told the victim to talk or they would break his head open, and Cartagena struck C.C. with an open hand multiple times.
Lopez admitted that she also struck C.C. by using her open hand to slap him twice on the back of the head while he was handcuffed.
Once they arrived at the police station, C.C. refused to answer questions. In response, Davis took C.C. to a back room. While in the back room, Davis struck the victim in the face as he sat in a chair.
Lopez admitted that the other officers’ abuse caused C.C. extreme physical pain and required him to seek treatment at a local area hospital.
A sentencing date has not yet been set for the former officer. But U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez for the District of Puerto Rico, in commenting on the case said: “Law enforcement officials are not above the law. When they abuse their authority by violating the civil rights of the citizens they are sworn to protect, they will be held accountable.”