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U.S. Won't Charge Miami Officer With Rights Violations

September 24, 1993|From Associated Press

MIAMI — Prosecutors have decided not to bring federal civil rights charges against Latino police officer William Lozano, who was acquitted in the slaying of two blacks.

The January, 1989, shooting touched off three days of riots in a black neighborhood.

"This decision does not represent a vindication of any officer's conduct in this matter," U.S. Atty. Robert Martinez said in a statement issued Thursday. Rather, he said, the Justice Department concluded that there is insufficient evidence to indict Lozano.

The 33-year-old Colombian-born officer was acquitted in state court on May 28 of manslaughter in the shooting of a motorcyclist and the death of a passenger in the ensuing crash. Lozano said the motorcyclist was bearing down on him, and he fired in self-defense.

It was his second trial after a conviction and a seven-year prison sentence were overturned by an appeals court, which ruled that the jury may have feared another outbreak of violence.

Lozano is on unpaid suspension pending an investigation into whether the shooting violated departmental policy.

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