NYC and Chicago Elected Officials Release Joint Statement on Police Intimidation of Peaceful Protesters in Puerto Rico

NYC Council Members Melissa Mark-Viverito and Annabel Palma along with Illinois State Senators Iris Martinez and William Delgado and Chicago Alderman Roberto Maldonado have released a joint statement condemning the actions of police officers that used intimidation and excessive force against peaceful protestors in the Capitolio, Puerto Rico’s legislative building.

The statement, as well as videos on these events, can be found below.

Click above to open video from NY1.

Statement by Council Members Melissa Mark-Viverito and Annabel Palma, Illinois State Senators Iris Martinez (20th District) and William Delgado (2nd District) and City of Chicago Alderman Roberto Maldonado (D-26th Ward)

Re: Police Intimidation of Peaceful Protestors in the Capitolio, Puerto Rico’s Legislative Building

Yesterday the Police used excessive and unnecessary force against non-violent protestors whose only intent was to peacefully enter Puerto Rico’s Capitolio. In addition to several protestors, at least one reporter and two legislators were hurt in the altercation that ensued. This was a flagrant abuse of police authority, and unfortunately also appears to be a growing trend in Puerto Rico.

Press reports and video evidence clearly demonstrate that there was no justification for responding to the peaceful protestors with beatings and pepper spray without any attempt at dialogue first. People were denied entry into a public building that is constitutionally mandated to conduct its business openly and publicly.

We emphatically condemn this police brutality and express our concern regarding the incident, which defies the most basic democratic values we hold dear. We will not stand by and allow civil liberties to be disregarded and attacked. We join others’ efforts to fight the suppression of democracy in Puerto Rico and we call on Congress to investigate yesterday’s events.

Ayer la Policía reprimió de manera excesiva la manifestación de un grupo de estudiantes y otros ciudadanos, que pretendían ingresar al Capitolio de Puerto Rico. En adición a varios de ellos, por lo menos un reportero y dos legisladores sufrieron lesiones.  Los informes de prensa y la evidencia videográfica es clara que no había razón ni justificación alguna para recibir a los manifestantes con golpes y gases, sin que mediara diálogo.  Les negaron el ingreso a un edificio público, que por mandato constitucional debe conducir sus trabajos de manera pública.  Por este medio expresamos nuestra condena enérgica por los incidentes de brutalidad policíaca y la más profunda preocupación por los acontecimientos ocurridos, que ponen en entredicho los más altos valores de democracia.

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