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Florida Journalist Arrested

June 26, 2001

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) _ A newspaper editor and publisher was arrested for publishing an article alleging a cover-up in an internal police investigation he had filed an official complaint about, police records show.

Dennis Cooper, 66, editor of the weekly Key West The Newspaper, was arrested Friday and released two hours later on his own recognizance.

The affidavit for his arrest cites a Florida statute that makes it a misdemeanor for anyone involved in an internal police investigation to disclose information before it has been entered into public record.

Cooper has alleged a police lieutenant lied in court about a 1996 stop of a bicyclist, and that the Key West Police Department covered it up.

He filed a complaint last month with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement accusing an internal affairs investigator of falsifying information about his review of the incident.

After receiving the complaint, the department asked Key West police to begin an investigation.

Cooper had published articles accusing the investigator of wrongdoing before filing the complaint.

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