The Conduct Of The Police Officers Was "Criminal"
Monday, July 23 2012 @ 09:02 AM EDT
Contributed by: Don Winner
According to the Prosecutor Rios, nothing Perez Carillo said that night justified the aggression against him. In his complaint, the doctor when he arrived at the checkpoint he told the police officer Rivera he was a doctor, and he needed to pass through the checkpoint quickly, in the same way as the other three cars that had just passed through before him, because he was in a hurry to pick up his children. However, Rivera said the cars had been passed through previously had escorts.
Then Police Sergeant Gonzalez approached him, Perez Carillo's driver's license, and told him to park the car. When Perez Carillo exited the car, Gonzalez walked toward him with his hand on his service weapon, and he immediately sprayed him with pepper spray. Perez Carillo admitted he tried to defend himself, but Police Officer Rivera threw him to the ground, handcuffed him, and put his knee in his back. There, once on the ground and dominated, Police Sergeant González kicked him in the face and sprayed him with pepper spray again. Then other police officers arrived on the scene, they surrounded him and put him in a police patrol car.
When Perez Carillo's wife appeared on the scene, the police officers finally took him to the hospital, handcuffed in the back of the patrol car.
His Injuries Coincide - In an affidavit, Police Officer John Cruz said Doctor Perez Carillo resisted arrest and became aggressive, so Rivera struggled with him in order to arrest him, and he hit his face on the floor as they tried to control him. However, the expert report from the Office of Legal Medicine indicates Perez Carillo had a hematoma and hemorrhage in the right eye, bruising and right nasal septum deviation, a hematoma on the upper lip, and scrapes on his left elbow and knee. According to the forensic investigators, the doctor's injuries are consistent with his complaint.
On the other hand, there are no documents in the official case file from the Directorate of Professional Responsibility of the National Police about the internal disciplinary process both Police Sergeant Gonzalez and Police Officer Rivera should have faced, because the National Police failed to send those documents to the Public Ministry, even through the Prosecutors requested officially them as part of their investigations. Mara Rivera, the Official Spokeswoman for the National Police, said the institution has confidence in the decisions of the authorities, and they will not comment on the process.
When they were questioned, both Sergeant Gonzalez and Officer Rivera took advantage of Article 25 of the Constitution, and remained silent.
Precedent - Meanwhile, Perez Carillo said he hopes justice will be served, and an exemplary punishment is applied to the two policemen. He said he hopes this case will set a precedent so that no one else is abused in this manner. His lawyer José Broce said no one is safe in Panama when they are detained by the National Police, because, as he warns, abuses are rampant, but almost no one files and official complaint. He said people should call a family member as soon as possible if they are being arrested.
The preliminary hearing was set by the Fifteenth Criminal Court for Thursday, 26 July 2012. Both Sergeant Gonzalez and Officer Rivera have been prevented from leaving the country, and they continue to work on the streets in their jobs.
The Sergeant Is A Repeat Offender In Personal Injuries - The Official Police Record of Sergeant Ferdín González, a copy of which resides in the archives of the Directorate of Judicial Investigation (DIJ) to which this newspaper (La Prensa) had access, contains 19 administrative and criminal proceedings. According to this document, Gonzalez is a repeat offender and he has at least four convictions for the crime of injury.
In 1974, the Mayor of Pesé sentenced him to 25 days in jail for breaking the roof tiles of a residence. The following year (1975) he served eight months in prison, sentenced by the Second Circuit Court of Herrera, for the crime of injury. In 1976 he served 9 months and 10 days in prison for the same offense, to the detriment of Arcenio Polo Hernandez. What's more, the Second Criminal Court of Los Santos sentenced him to 16 months and 5 days in prison for personal injuries against Arturo Perez. The Second Criminal Court of Chitre sentenced him to 30 months in prison for the same crime in 1982. In other cases he was convicted for fights and scandals, for carrying an illegal knife, and for insulting members of the National Guard in 1982.
Rivera has no criminal record. (Prensa)
Editor's Comment: Wow. Talk about the classic "bad apple." It's pretty clear this Gonzalez guy is one fucked-up, violent asshole. If the contents of this article are correct and accurate, then there's no way this guy should be serving in the National Police. I think it's a disgusting bit of bullshit the National Police have failed to provide documentation on any sort of internal disciplinary action taken against Gonzalez and Rivera. Why didn't they? Because - simply enough - they didn't do a damn thing against these guys. I believe the doctor. I think they threw him to the ground, handcuffed him, pepper sprayed him, and repeatedly kicked him in the face. In other words - Police Sergeant Gonzalez is a Sadistic Fuck who should spend some more time in prison, and then be summarily fired from the National Police in disgrace with no sort of reward or pension whatsoever. I think the younger officer Rivera was probably influenced by the much older Sergeant Gonzalez who was his superior officer on the scene that night. He should probably be punished and reprimanded, but the real bad guy here seems to be Gonzalez. Let's see what the court does in this case. On another note, the National Police need to wake the hell up and purge this sort of cancer from their ranks. It makes no sense whatsoever to protect this sort of vile, evil, sadistic, violent, and dangerous person.