Three Colombian police officers were suspended Friday in connection with the death of journalist who said he was beaten in custody.

The inspector general of the national police, Gen. Santiago Parra announced the suspensions in Sincelejo, capital of Sucre province, where the incident occurred.

"We don't come here to judge or to condemn, because they are murky events," Parra told reporters, adding that his office is taking direct charge of the investigation.

Guillermo Quiroz, who worked for several different radio, television and print outlets in Sucre, was stopped by police on Nov. 20 as he was covering a protest against a foreign energy company.

The officers demanded to see the registration for the reporter's motorcycle, according to Francisco Barrios, director of Notisabanas television.

Citing problems with the registration documents, the cops impounded the motorcycle and ordered Quiroz to board a police vehicle.

Quiroz re-emerged hours later with severe contusions on his head, arms and back.

"They put me in a vehicle and a policeman hit me and knocked me around while the vehicle was moving," the 31-year-old Quiroz said from the clinic where he ultimately died seven days after the assault.

A police report released Friday said Quiroz was the aggressor in the confrontation.

Quiroz was laid to rest Thursday in San Pedro amid protests by fellow journalists and area residents that led to clashes with police. EFE