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Press Release

Former Federal Correctional Officer Pleads Guilty to Federal Civil Rights Charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Former Bureau of Prisons Officer Emilio Rodríguez-Arroyo pleaded guilty today to one count of Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law for using excessive force by striking an inmate whose hands were handcuffed behind his back and who was not resisting, resulting in bodily injury, announced W. Stephen Muldrow, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.

According to court documents and information presented in court, on November 8, 2021, Rodríguez-Arroyo, a correctional officer at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico deprived victim E.R.R. of his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment when the defendant struck E.R.R. in the head and face area shortly after having deployed oleoresin capsicum (OC) spray (also known as “pepper spray”) onto that area, and while E.R.R. was handcuffed behind his back, surrounded and controlled by other officers, and not resisting.

The defendant’s sentencing is scheduled for July 17, 2023, before U.S. District Judge Silvia Carreño-Coll of the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico.

The case was investigated by the FBI and the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander Alum and Trial Attorney Eric Peffley of the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division.


Updated April 19, 2023

Civil Rights