Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Puerto Rico: Dominicans Protest Re: Drunken Off-Duty PRPD Officer Shooting, Killing of Dominican

According to EFE, the Dominican Human Rights Committee in Puerto Rico reported Tuesday (June 17) the death of a countryman, said to have been fatally shot by a drunken PRPD off-duty cop.

The incident occurred on April 26 in the central town of Caguas, when Dominican computer technician Epifanio Abreu got into a dispute with the owner of a café over a bill, committee chair José Rodríguez told EFE.

At the time, a PRPD police agent identified as Benito Cruz Sánchez intervened at which point the Dominican citizen was pushed by the impaired off-duty officer and left the café.

COMMENT: It is unknown whether Abreu had been drinking or not, yet Mr. Abreu crossed the line by returning to the café with a machete in hand, when he in fact should have simply filed a complaint against the drunken off-duty PRPD officer, whose name he already had.

Surely the computer tech should have known that Puerto Rican cops are not well-known for their diplomacy, particularly when interacting with Dominicans, many of whom have no legal status.

The downside to so many "illegal" workers, regardless of nationality, is that they are so used to working outside of the law, that their first instinct is to resort physically, which rarely has a non-violent result. 

Unfortunately, when an "illegal" Dominican in Puerto Rico brings a machete to settle a dispute over a café bill, he is further compounding a situation that is destined have a violent result.

Ramonita Parra, who worked with Abreu, told EFE on Tuesday (June 17) that the man never had a single problem during the 24 years he had lived in Puerto Rico, yet by choosing to be an "illegal," he was depriving a Puerto Rican worker from a livelihood.

Unfortunately, 30% of the 500,000 Dominicans who live in Puerto Rico are "illegal," thereby denying legal members of the Commonwealth employment at a time when the island is facing a 15% unemployment rate.

Close to 500,000 Dominicans are estimated to live in Puerto Rico, 30% of whom are "illegal."