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13 Cops Charged In Shooting Probe

Thirteen current and former Miami police officers were named in an indictment unsealed Friday alleging they helped cover up wrongdoing in police shootings.

Two have entered pleas to charges in the indictment, and one of the officers was a former chief's assistant, federal prosecutors said.

Five officers were arrested at the Miami Police Department. They were summoned to the chief's office early Friday and relieved of their duty, badges and weapons, the FBI said.

Two other former officers were arrested at their homes, and four others were expected to surrender, FBI spokeswoman Judy Orihuela said.

The arrests expanded on a March indictment charging five Miami SWAT officers with conspiracy to obstruct justice for allegedly lying to investigators after a 73-year-old man was killed in a hail of 123 bullets during a 1996 drug raid.

Shots narrowly missed his 14-year-old granddaughter. Police said the man fired first. No drugs were found in the house, but some were found outside a window.

The FBI said the investigations also involved gun "throw-down" cases involving the fatal shootings of two young black men after a smash-and-grab purse snatching on a downtown expressway ramp, a fatal inner-city shooting and the wounding of a homeless man who officers said was holding a weapon to the head of a friend. It actually was a small radio.

Although it involves 13 present and former officers, all members of SWAT teams or special crime-supression units, the scandal is smaller than the "Miami River Cops" case that grew out of the drownings of three drug-boats guards in the Miami River in 1985.

Two dozen Miami officers eventually were convicted of charges that police formed their own drug-ripoff ring, and as many as 100 officers were disciplined in a wider review as the department put its own under scrutiny.

©MMI The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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