A jury in Puerto Rico has acquitted two police officers of being accessories to murder for not stopping a colleague from shooting to death an unarmed man in an incident that was captured on a widely broadcast video.
Officers Carlos Sustache Sustache and Zulma Diaz de Leon were at the scene when a third officer shot and killed Miguel Caceres Cruz during an August 2007 struggle. Prosecutors said the two could have prevented the slaying, an argument the jury rejected in a verdict late Friday.
Defense lawyers said the officers had no time to prevent the shooting and were stunned by their colleague's actions.
Evelyn Ramirez, the widow of the slain man, told reporters outside court she was shocked by the verdict.
"I'm never going to forgive them" she told the newspaper El Nuevo Dia. "They are police, trained to save and protect people's lives."
In an earlier trial, the officer who fired the shots, Javier Pagan Cruz, was convicted of murder and a weapons charge and sentenced to 109 years in prison.
The shooting occurred in the eastern coastal town of Humacao after Caceres allegedly insulted Pagan as police responded to a traffic jam.
During the scuffle that followed, Pagan's weapon went off and struck him in the leg. The video then shows Pagan wrestling Caceres to the floor and shooting him at least three times _ once in the head. A bystander's video was broadcast widely in Puerto Rico to widespread outrage.