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Police Corruption

Only rarely does a judge in a criminal case overturn the verdict reached by jurors in her own courtroom. Still rarer is the judge who admits to committing an error so serious it taints a verdict. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Jacqueline Connor did both Friday night in an extraordinary ruling that overturned the convictions of three Rampart Division police officers, impressing legal scholars with both her tightly reasoned legal arguments and her unusual candor.
June 12, 2013 | By Vincent Bevins
CURITIBA, Brazil -- The head of a newspaper renowned for reporting on crime and corruption was shot to death Tuesday in a town outside Rio de Janeiro, the latest in a string of apparent assassinations of Brazilian journalists. Jose Roberto Ornelas de Lemos, 45, was shot 44 times by four men while he was drinking at a neighborhood bar in the town of Nova Iguacu, witnesses said, and police believe the motive may have been to silence the reporting done by his newspaper, Hora H. "We aren't ruling out any hypothesis, but our main hypothesis is that Lemos may have been killed because of the combative profile of the journal he was in charge of," said police officer Marcos Henrique de Oliveira Alves, according to the newspaper Estado de Sao Paulo.
July 1, 2008 | Richard Winton and Victoria Kim, Times Staff Writers
A former gang member who won a $15 million judgment after he was shot and framed by corrupt Los Angeles police officers more than a decade ago was arrested Sunday night after leading Glendale police on a high-speed chase, his second arrest in a week, authorities said. Javier Francisco Ovando, 31, was arrested about 8:15 p.m. Sunday after leading police on an hour-long chase that reached speeds of up to 90 mph on local streets and freeways, said Sgt. Tom Lorenz of the Glendale Police Department.
April 5, 2013 | By Sergei L. Loiko, Los Angeles Times
MOSCOW - The Russian underworld calls him "Sportsman" for his physical strength and stamina. Police identify him as "High-Tech" because of his allegedly ingenious ways of stealing luxury cars. Now Igor Lovygin has captivated Russia for daring behavior this week apparently motivated by the accidental death of one of his young daughters, who drowned during a family vacation in Dubai. Lovygin, 36, the reputed leader of the country's most brazen car theft gang and a murder suspect wanted by authorities, accompanied his daughter's coffin to Russia, was arrested at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow, and then escaped from officers Wednesday night after being transferred to St. Petersburg.
Federal investigators are preparing to search a garbage-strewn hillside near downtown Tijuana for the graves of three people who an informant claims were buried there by former Los Angeles Police Department officers Rafael Perez and David Mack, law enforcement sources confirmed Tuesday. The search, expected to occur within days, is part of an ongoing federal investigation aimed at corroborating the allegations of 23-year-old Sonia Flores, Perez's former lover.
June 2, 2000
"Battle Against Bad Cops Isn't Fought Only in L.A." (May 28) provides an important perspective on a problem that may be best solved at the national level. Many countries, including Canada and Great Britain, enjoy the protection and efficiency of a national police force, making corruption in individual locales much harder to hide and multiplying the law enforcement capacities of each. The cost savings of shared administrative functions, including training, personnel review and the building, maintenance and use of databases (especially DNA, where the U.S. is so far behind countries like Great Britain)
Detective Sgt. Michael Drury was feeding his child when two gunshots tore through the kitchen window and into his stomach and shoulder. Drury, an undercover agent of the New South Wales police, the largest force in Australia, survived. The bullet missed his heart after deflecting off a curtain rod. Five years later, questions about the shooting remain unanswered amid allegations of police corruption, treachery and deception.
December 16, 2001 | From Associated Press
Aaron Patterson is a death row inmate who claims police officers punched him and suffocated him with a plastic typewriter cover 15 years ago to extract a false confession in the killings of an elderly couple. A few years ago, Patterson's claims might have been dismissed. But beginning Monday, his claims will get a new hearing under orders from the Illinois Supreme Court.
Osiel Cardenas was a cop with dreams. He was a lowly police communications specialist who wanted the fame and fortune won by other law enforcement officials in this city bordering Texas. So, say authorities, he followed their path: He became a drug trafficker. Cardenas is now a top target of U.S. authorities, not only for drug charges but for allegedly threatening two American agents at gunpoint in Matamoros--then throwing a party to celebrate.
October 6, 1990 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
More than 1,000 people angered by alleged police corruption took to the streets of a crime-ridden neighborhood in Osaka, burning barricades and pelting Japanese riot police with firebombs and rocks. At least 106 people, including 83 police officers, have been injured in several days of violence. The run-down neighborhood is known for its gangs, transient laborers and shabby hotels.
February 13, 2012 | By Henry Chu, Los Angeles Times
Britain's bestselling tabloid on Monday launched a blistering attack on the police for arresting five of its journalists over the weekend in an investigation of media corruption and unethical practices undertaken as a result of the country's phone hacking scandal. Scotland Yard is treating reporters at Rupert Murdoch's Sun newspaper "like members of an organized crime gang," said Trevor Kavanagh, the paper's associate editor. He lashed out at what he called a police "witch hunt," warned that Britain was falling behind former Soviet bloc countries in terms of press freedom and criticized police raids on journalists' homes during which officers sifted through "intimate possessions, love letters and entirely private documents.
August 31, 2010 | By Ken Ellingwood, Los Angeles Times
About 3,200 Mexican federal police officers, nearly a tenth of the force, have been fired this year under new rules designed to weed out crooked cops and modernize law enforcement, officials said Monday. The housecleaning is part of President Felipe Calderon's crackdown on drug cartels, which includes overhauling the 34,500-strong federal police force. An additional 465 federal officers have been charged with breaking the law, and 1,020 others face disciplinary action after failing screening tests, officials said.
January 25, 2010 | By Jack Leonard
It was meant to be a smoking gun: A grainy security video that proved police corruption. Officers said they had stopped Rafat Abdallah because his white Mercedes was missing a license plate. During a search of the car, they discovered a loaded handgun -- a serious crime for a convicted felon like Abdallah. But the footage, taken from a surveillance camera, clearly showed a license plate on Rafat Abdallah's white Mercedes as he left his business just moments before officers pulled him over.
December 20, 2009 | By Richard Marosi
Since he took over one of the most troubled police departments in Mexico, Julian Leyzaola has slapped the face of a corpse, led shoot-'em-ups on the street and ordered suspected crooked cops to stick close to his office in downtown Tijuana -- he wanted them as human shields. "I told them, if they try to attack me in my office, you'll be right outside," Leyzaola said. "The first ones they kill will be you." He's not being paranoid. Since he launched a crackdown on organized crime and police corruption two years ago, Leyzaola has survived at least four assassination plots, including the latest threat to blow up his headquarters.
November 22, 2009 | By Sebastian Rotella
Around here, the grim joke goes, most people work for the government or the mafias. Or both. Richard Padilla Cramer apparently had bested the temptations that come with the territory. During three decades in border law enforcement, he made the most of his pitch-perfect Spanish and talent for undercover work. He locked up corrupt officials, racked up drug busts and rose through the ranks. He retired after a coveted stint as a U.S. attache for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Mexico, the land he had left as a child.
August 2, 2009 | Megan K. Stack
Valery Kazakov was almost to the prosecutor's office when the killers caught him. He was shot as he cut through an alleyway, and when he stumbled bleeding into the street, a man bent down to stab the final breaths out of him. It was 3 o'clock in the afternoon, in the heart of the sleepy town of Pushkino. As far as the townspeople were concerned, it was a public execution.
July 9, 1991 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A police officer claims he was treated unfairly and his career was damaged in a case that raises accusations of corruption in the San Francisco Police Department. Accusations stemming from the $5-million lawsuit filed by Officer Alfred De La Cerda include claims that some narcotics officers tipped drug dealers to raids, accepted payoffs for protection and, in some cases, dealt drugs themselves.
March 29, 2009
Those who think that Cancun is safe from the drug wars raging in Mexico aren't keeping current on events there. ["On the Spot," March 22]. The Cancun police chief has been arrested in connection with the murder of a retired Mexican army general, hired by the city. His specialty was battling police corruption. Think that's not drug-related? Warren Cereghino Pacific Palisades
February 16, 2009 | Tracy Wilkinson
A team of gunmen in southeastern Mexico opened fire on the homes of a state police officer and his extended family, killing 12 people, including a 2-year-old and five other children, authorities said Sunday. The shootings Saturday night in the state of Tabasco stunned an oil-rich part of Mexico that has not experienced the same level of drug-related warfare common elsewhere in the country, despite its position of strategic importance to traffickers.
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