A judge who presided over the conviction of four Miami officers in questionable police shootings has told prosecutors to present more legal justification to support the federal charges.
The Associated Press says the officers’ attorneys want U.S. District Judge Alan Gold to throw out the convictions, saying that the charges of conspiracy to plant guns on unarmed suspects or cover up the misconduct have no basis in federal law. “The government has more work to do to respond to some of the legal arguments the defense has raised,” Gold said. He said the question of whether the federal government has jurisdiction “is the heart of what is being argued.”
Eleven officers were charged with covering up the planting of guns after four shootings between 1995 and 1997 that left three men dead and a fourth wounded. Three officers were cleared, and jurors deadlocked on four others last month. The judge gave prosecutors until the end of May to respond and promised to rule before sentencing Aug. 22.