Miami Police Lack Policies

On Use of Force, U.S. Says

MIAMI -- The Miami Police Department needs stronger policies on how much force officers can use and what kinds of weapons they can carry, the Justice Department said yesterday.

The report found, among other things, that officers are allowed to carry high-velocity military rifles at work, often without supervisors' permission. It also said the department has failed to give clear guidance on what constitutes a reasonable use of force.

Police Chief John Timoney, a veteran manager of police departments in Philadelphia and New York who was brought in to Miami to shape up its force, said the department is conducting its own investigation and plans to retrain officers to adhere to new federal guidelines.

Eleven members of a special city police squad are being tried on federal corruption charges for allegedly planting guns at crime scenes and lying to cover up wrongful police actions in questionable shootings. The jury will begin deliberating next week.

* NEW YORK -- Five men whose convictions were overturned in the highly publicized 1989 rape of a jogger in Central Park launched a $250 million legal claim against New York, arguing the city should pay for their "false arrest" and "malicious prosecution." The five, convicted as teenagers of beating and sexually assaulting the 28-year-old investment banker, say they were coerced by police and prosecutors into confessing. A judge last year overturned the convictions of the five, who spent between seven and 12 years in prison, after a confession by a serial rapist, backed up by DNA tests, that he alone attacked the woman.

* SAN FRANCISCO -- Christopher Boyce, whose Cold War spying was immortalized on film in "The Falcon and the Snowman," was released after more than a quarter-century in prison. Boyce was 22 when his father, a former FBI agent, helped him land a summer job as a clerk at TRW Inc. in Redondo Beach, Calif., where he had access to classified communications with CIA headquarters in Langley, Va. He smuggled some of the documents home and sold them to the Russian Embassy in Mexico City, taking in about $77,000 before he and childhood friend Andrew Daulton Lee, his courier, were caught in 1976. Boyce will be on parole until 2046, his original release date.

* YONKERS, N.Y. -- Flames spread through 11 low-rise apartment buildings, killing two people and forcing more than 100 others to flee as the fire gutted much of a city block. Officials said three people were hospitalized in critical condition.

* DES MOINES -- A day after community college president David England was arrested on drug charges, his wife, Donna, 49; daughter, Jessica, 22; and 16-year-old son turned themselves in to police. Officers seized harvested marijuana worth about $20,000, along with 72 plants, from the family's home.

* BROWNSVILLE, Tex. -- Three months before a destitute man and woman were charged with beheading their children, child-welfare workers concluded that the couple were making progress in creating a stable home for the youngsters and closed the case. Angela Camacho, 23, and her common-law husband, John Allen Rubio, 22, were arraigned Wednesday on murder charges after the bodies of their children, ages 3, 1, and 2 months, were found in their squalid apartment.

-- From News Services