No criminal charges filed against San Pedro QRT officers following New Year’s Day altercation

Monday, January 7th, 2019

During a press briefing on Monday, December 7th, Deputy Commissioner of Police Chester Williams stated that police have been unable to lay criminal charges against San Pedro Quick Response Team (QRT) officers Tyrell Rowley and Samir Medina for using excessive force on Justin, Mario, and Jamir Leal. Police allege that the Leal family have refused to cooperate and do not wish to proceed with criminal charges against the two QRT officers. As a result, the officers only received disciplinary charges, after being on suspension for a week and following an investigation by the Professional Standards Branch (PSB). On Monday, December 7th, Rowley was arraigned with two counts of prejudice to good order and discipline, while Medina was arraigned for one count of prejudice to good order and discipline. They both pled not guilty, and the case was adjourned until January 21, 2019.

The duo was caught on camera as they responded to a brawl at a beach bar in the Boca del Rio Area on Tuesday, January 1st. Rowley is observed beating Jamir senselessly while he was already subdued on the ground.  Following the incident, the officers were placed on suspension, and the Professional Standards Branch (PSB) began an investigation. But according to them, the Leal family have refused to cooperate and do not wish to proceed with criminal charges against the police.

Williams stated that the PSB investigators spoke with the victims and they did not want to proceed with the case. “We cannot proceed without criminal charges against the officers,” said Williams. Even though it is evident in the video footage that abuse of force was applied by the officers, Williams has indicated to The San Pedro Sun that if there is no complainant, no charges can be made.

At the press briefing, he touched on the video and categorized it as ‘very disturbing.’ But in the absence of a complaint, Williams indicated that all he can do is direct the PSB to proceed with disciplinary charges against Rowley and Medina.

The San Pedro Sun reached out to the Leal family, but they refrained from commenting on the matter. One family member said that they had given their statements to the police following the incident, but did not wish to further speak on the matter.

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