Thursday, September 06, 2007

Police officer indicted
in death of homeless immigrant

Rene Perez came to America in 1992, carrying the hopes and burdens of his family. He was the son of aging parents, one of four brothers, a husband, and a new father to a baby girl, Gladys. But he found little work and, over time, he became a heavy drinker.

A police officer has been indicted on second-degree manslaughter in the death of a homeless Guatemalan immigrant in Mount Kisco, N.Y.

Officer George Bubaris, 30, has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which also include unlawful imprisonment and official misconduct.

Rene Perez, 42, who was homeless, called police from a coin laundry on the night of April 28, complaining of stomach pain. Three officers responded, but it was declared that Perez "did not have a police matter." An hour later, Perez was found dying on a roadside.

The medical examiner found that Perez died of severe internal bleeding.

Bubaris had no other recorded calls for 44 minutes after he "cleared the call" at the laundry, records show.

Assistant District Attorney Michael Hughes said the crimes were "all the more heinous and troubling and disturbing because they occurred while he was a police officer on duty." He said the crimes amounted to "a violation of this officer's public trust."

Read the White Plains Journal News article here and check out The Washington Post's report on how Perez's killing has exposed tensions between well-off white employers and poor immigrant workers.


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