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Miguel Caceres Dec Jur Berkan Dic 2011 NotiCel

Miguel Caceres Dec Jur Berkan Dic 2011 NotiCel

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Published by Oscar J. Serrano

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Published by: Oscar J. Serrano on Dec 28, 2011
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12/29/2011

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE DISTRICT OF PUERTO RICO
Evelyn Ramírez Lluveras et alPlaintiffsv. Javier Pagán Cruz, et al DefendantsCiv. Number 08-1486 FAB 
STATEMENT UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURYBY ATTORNEY JUDITH BERKAN
I, Judith Berkan, do hereby make this declaration under penalty of perjury, dohereby declare and say:
A. Introduction - the purpose of the instant declaration
1.1 I am one of the attorneys of record for the plaintiffs in the above-titled actionand have been lead attorney with respect to this matter since approximately one monthafter the death of Miguel Cáceres on August 11, 2007.1.2 I am making this declaration in support of plaintiffs’ request for a Judgmentto be issued by this court and for a Rule 54(b) certification with respect to the Opinion andOrder issued on December 22, 2011, certifying that there is no just cause for delay, andfacilitating appellate review of this court’s Opinion and Order granting summary judgmentto the supervisory defendants in this case (
hereinafter, “Opinion and Order”)
1.3 I respectfully set forth the facts herein to demonstrate why this court shouldissue a certification pursuant to Rule 54(b), allowing the possibility of an immediate appealin this case, in light of the authority cited in the accompanying motion, requiring counsel
 
to “assist the district court by making appropriate submissions that express the reasons forand basis of a Rule 54(b) determination.”1.4 Plaintiffs contend
inter alia
that the issues disposed of on Summary Judgmentwith respect to the
supervisory defendants
are
entirely separable
 
from those which concern theactions of the street-level officers sued in this action.1.5Plaintiffs also assert that an immediate appeal would serve the interests of justice and that there is no
 just reason for further delay
.
1.6 The assertions made herein with respect to the factual record submitted onSummary Judgment are based on that record. To the degree that the undersigned makesfactual assertions with respect to the underlying facts of the case, she affirms that there is
proof
in the record which supports those assertions.1.7 When reference is made to authority or to official government documents,the references are supported in the appropriate documentation.1.8 The assertions made herein as to matters outside of the record are madeunder penalty and perjury based on my personal knowledge.1.9 The only assertions of that nature which are not based on personalknowledge are those based on conversations with the undersigned’s clients, the widow andchildren of Miguel Cáceres, as to the devastating effects on their lives of the facts givingrise to this action and the litigation events in this case.
2
 
B. The killing of Miguel A. Cáceres on August 11, 2007
2.1 This is a damage action brought on behalf of the widow and children ofMiguel Antonio Cáceres, who was shot four times and killed by Puerto Rico PoliceDepartment (PRPD) Tactical Operations officer, Javier Pagán, on August 11, 2007.2.2 The shooting of the unarmed Mr. Cáceres took place on a street in Humacao,Puerto Rico, when the deceased was attempting to assist in the flow of traffic, which wascongested due to automobiles and scooters gathered to celebrate a young girl’s FifteenthBirthday celebration (“Quinceanero”).2.3 Officer Pagán, who was encouraged to intervene with the decedent by fellowOfficer Zulma Díaz, killed Mr. Cáceres in front of dozens of spectators, who were kept atbay by fellow Officer Carlos Sustache.2.4 Three of the supervisory defendants in this case, Lieut. Víctor Cruz-Sánchez(the highest level on-duty officer in the Humacao Area that night), Sgt. Juan Colón-Báez(in charge of Humacao Tactical Operations at the time) and Area Commander EdwinRivera-Merced, immediately began a cover-up to prevent the public and the authoritiesfrom discovering the illegal conduct of the officers on the scene.2.5 The cover-up was also reflected in the initial report of the Homicide agentassigned to investigate the case, José Rivera.2.6The aforementioned defendants, all of whom had supervisory responsibilityin the Humacao Area, informed Homicide Agent Rivera about the
only
witness who claimsthat Mr. Cáceres provoked his own death, one Héctor Huertas. Mr. Huertas’s version is
3

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