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Puerto Rico will investigate any use of force during protests over power company

The announcement comes after media organizations denounced police who in one video appear to assault a photojournalist.
People protest outside the headquarters of Luma Energy
People protest outside the headquarters of Luma Energy in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Apr. 8, 2022.Ricardo Arduengo / AFP via Getty Images file
/ Source: Associated Press

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Puerto Rico’s governor on Friday said all aggressive incidents stemming from a protest against a private power company that operates the island’s transmission and distribution system will be investigated.

The announcement comes after media organizations denounced police who in one video appear to assault a photojournalist who was covering Wednesday’s protest. Other videos also showed clashes between police and protesters in a fog of tear gas.

The protest is the latest against Luma Energy, which recently pledged to dedicate more crews and resources to reduce the number of power outages and their duration that have angered many in this U.S. territory of 3.2 million people who are demanding that the government cancel its contract.

In a press conference on Thursday, Puerto Rico Police Commissioner Antonio López accused a small group of protesters of attacking officers with rocks and other objects, injuring four of them. He also said the incident involving the photojournalist would be investigated, with the photojournalist publicly thanking López for having called him and apologizing.

“All use of force will be investigated in-depth,” López said.

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