Court Nixes Officer’s Claim Over Demotion

     BOSTON (CN) – A police officer in Puerto Rico cannot sue department officials for demoting him for complaining that they refusing to return his weapon for almost a year after he was cleared of a disturbing-the-peace charge, the 1st Circuit ruled.

     Judge Lynch ruled that because Puerto Rico does not recognize the ownership of a work position, Ramon Rosado Quinones was not denied due process after the department moved him to a less prestigious position.
     In 2002, Rosado was charged with disturbing the peace and had to surrender his weapon during the investigation. He was acquitted eight months later, but the department refused to return his gun for almost a year.
     Rosado had been working as a plainclothes policeman since 1985, but he was transferred to a uniformed position and forced to start his shift at 4 a.m.
     Judge Lynch found that the First Amendment does not protect Rosado’s speech against his superiors, because it is not a matter of public policy.
     Also, “the timing or manner by which the PRPD rearmed Rosado raises no constitutional or public policy concerns,” Lynch ruled.

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