Puerto Rico's police department has a long pattern of violating citizens' constitutional rights through excessive force and unwarranted searches, the Justice Department said in a report released Thursday.
The analysis by the department's civil rights division found that the U.S. territory's police force is "broken in a number of critical and fundamental respects."
Bucking the trend of decreasing crime in the United States, violent crime in Puerto Rico increased 17% between 2007 and 2009. The territory has also seen a number of large protests in past years over issues such as the cost of public education and job cuts.
Police confronted these challenges with too heavy a hand, the report states.FULL STORY