The Americas

Puerto Rico policewoman pleads guilty in civil rights case

A former Puerto Rico policewoman accused of using excessive force on a juvenile has pleaded guilty to civil rights violations.

The U.S. Justice Department said Monday that Shylene Lopez could face up to 10 years in prison. She and three other officers were indicted in the November 2014 case.

Authorities said a minor arrested for drug possession was shot in the back as he tried to flee from police on his bicycle. Officials said Lopez admitted to slapping the boy, who also was hit in the back of the head with a gun. The boy later was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Puerto Rico's police department is undergoing a 10-year federally mandated reform after a 2011 federal report accused officers of illegal killings, corruption and civil rights violations.