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Miami cops fired over anti-gay attack

MIAMI BEACH, Fla., July 26 (UPI) -- Miami Beach, Fla., is firing two policemen accused of attacking and falsely arresting a gay tourist who caught them beating another man.

City Manager Jorge Gonzalez told The Miami Herald he informed Officers Frankly Forte and Eliut Hazzi of the action Monday. They can fight for their jobs at a hearing next Monday.

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On March 13, 2009, Harold Strickland, a former city resident, was visiting his old neighborhood when he saw two men beating a man in a park.

Strickland called 911, then realized the attackers were undercover police, he said. Then Hazzi and Forte attacked him, calling him "fag" and "faggot," he said, and arrested him for loitering and prowling.

Oscar Mendoza, the man being beaten, was arrested for resisting arrest. Both charges were later dropped.

After a long investigation, prosecutors did not charge the policemen, asserting insufficient evidence to convict, but urged the department to take "appropriate action."

Miami Beach police said Monday that though the "investigation concluded that no crime could be proven in relation to the officers' actions, serious questions were raised about their conduct during the incident."

Strickland is suing for more than $15,000 in damages.

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