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Fla. officer under investigation after K-9 dies

By David Ovalle
The Miami Herald

MIAMI — A Miami K-9 officer is under criminal investigation after his police dog died, The Miami Herald learned Tuesday.

Armando Aguilar, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, confirmed Officer Ron Brown has been relieved of duty with pay. He did not know details of the case.

"There is an ongoing investigation. I really can't talk about anything," Aguilar said Tuesday.

Brown, 48, hired in 1987, is a popular figure among Miami police. He worked previously as a patrolman and in the training bureau.

"Officer Brown is a 20-year veteran and did absolutely nothing wrong," said his attorney, Bill Matthewman. "He's been on light duty because of heart problems."

Matthewman described his client as an animal lover. "He would never do anything to harm any animal, especially a police dog."

A police spokesman, Delrish Moss, declined to comment because of the ongoing internal-affairs investigation.

Detectives on Tuesday were emptying out Brown's unmarked patrol car, which includes a cage for the dog.

Brown is the second police officer in Miami-Dade during the past year to be investigated in the death of his K-9 partner.

Last May, Miami-Dade Sgt. Allen Cockfield was charged with fatally kicking his German shepherd named Duke.

Authorities say Cockfield kicked Duke in June 2006 during an "obedience control" exercise at the training bureau in West Miami-Dade.

Cockfield pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial on charges of animal cruelty and killing a police dog, a third-degree felony.

Copyright 2008 The Miami Herald

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