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Indictments issued for two former LAPD officers

graphic VIDEO
Sonya Flores tells CNN's Charles Feldman about the murders she alleges were committed by ex-LAPD Officer Rafael Perez (Oct. 18)

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This first trial is a test case, according to CNN's Charles Feldman (Oct. 11)

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GRAPHIC The trial of four Los Angeles Police Department officers implicated in the largest corruption scandal in the department's history begins with attacks on informant Rafael Perez.

LAPD Scandal
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graphic LAPD scandal a stark example of the failure of police reform
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LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Indictments against two former Los Angeles police officers were turned over to the Los Angeles Superior Court Friday, a court official told CNN.

The indictments name former LAPD Central Division Officers Christopher Coppock and David Cochrane in an incident in which they allegedly terrorized a homeless man in 1997 after he called them a derogatory name.

The man claims he was taken to the Los Angeles River area, where he said he was beaten and threatened with a handgun by the officers. Another former LAPD officer, Sandra Salazar, who reportedly witnessed part of the incident, gave testimony largely supporting the homeless man's complaint.

Salazar's attorney, Michael Lackie, told CNN, "My client decided to cooperate with the district attorney's office because it was the right thing to do. She was a victim of LAPD's code of silence."

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larry Fidler read the indictments into the court record and directed they be forwarded to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office for further action. The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office told CNN arrest warrants have been issued for Coppock and Cochrane and that arrangements have been made for the officers to turn themselves in.

The indictment comes as Fidler hears a corruption case against four former officers from the city's Rampart Division.

Since that scandal broke, 106 criminal convictions have been overturned, and at least 70 officers are under investigation.



RELATED STORIES:
Witness testifies truck never hit LAPD officers
October 23, 2000
Judge rules testimony concerning alleged Perez murders is irrelevant
October 20, 2000
Gang member testifies LAPD officers tried to frame him
October 19, 2000
Former deputy D.A. testifies in trial of 4 LAPD officers
October 18, 2000
Mexican authorities dig for alleged victims of Rafael Perez
October 14, 2000
LAPD trial starts with attacks on former officer Perez
October 5, 2000
Los Angeles City Council agrees to federal police reforms
September 20, 2000
Current and former LA police officers sue department for $100 million
August 24, 2000
Los Angeles police officer pleads guilty to civil rights violations
August 18, 2000
LAPD officer pleads guilty to federal civil rights charges
August 4, 2000

RELATED SITES:
Department of Justice proposed consent decree
Independent Analysis of the Los Angeles Police Department's Board of Inquiry Report on the Rampart Scandal


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