12 December 2016

Police Chief Riggs Assassinated 1935

War Against All Puerto Ricans by Nelson Denis, 2015, Excerpts

Police Chief Riggs, stated in several major newspapers that he was ready to wage “war to the death against all Puerto Ricans.” As he returned home, two young men approached him, shot and killed him.

After the assassination of Police Chief Riggs, General Winship unleashed a reign of terror across the island. He hired more Insular Police and instructed them to raid Nationalist homes and offices and to arrest Nationalist throughout the island. Albizu received death threats, he posted a round-the-clock guard and repelled four assaults by police and FBI agents.

Officers with blackjacks, tear gas, rifles, and Thompson submachine guns barricaded entire sections of San Juan. He prohibited all public demonstrations, including speeches at funerals. At his discretion and without notice, Winship would declare martial law in random areas; the police would lay siege to those areas, conduct warrantless searches, break into people’s homes, and prevent other residents form entering or leaving the zone. He established the complete militarization of Puerto Rico with a police state that could control the population.

Albizu and six Nationalists were convicted of conspiracy to overthrow the US government. The jury delivered its verdict: ten years’ imprisonment for Albizu. Albizu was jailed in La Princesa prison in San Juan.

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