Justice Department turns down request to investigate PBSO

The U.S. Department of Justice will not be investigating allegations of excessive force by PBSO against the Hispanic community.

In a letter dated last week, a chief within DOJ’s Civil Rights Division wrote that the decision was made after PBSO told them about its “efforts to work with the Latino community.”

Attorney Jack Scarola, on behalf of the Guatemalan Maya Center in Lake Worth, had asked for DOJ to investigate PBSO after Augusto Garcia was knocked to the ground and handcuffed by a deputy after calling police for help. He had to be taken to a hospital and is now suing the department.

“Based on a review of your letter and the PBSO response, the Civil Rights Division has determined not to open an investigation,” Deeana Jang, chief of the Civil Rights Division’s Federal Coordination and Compliance Section, wrote.

Scarola could not immediately be reached for comment.

The letter did not address a current FBI investigation into a use of force case against by a PBSO deputy that was announced by Sheriff Ric Bradshaw earlier this month. The FBI has not commented on the investigation.