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Southeastern PA

Judges split on bail for Philadelphia police officers

PHILADELPHIA - A Philadelphia police officer accused of being an enforcer in a group of officers suspected of theft and rogue behavior has been granted bail.

U.S. Magistrate Timothy Rice will release the officer, Linwood Norman, on house arrest until the group's racketeering trial.

He's among six members of the city's narcotics unit who are charged with robbing drug suspects of more than $500,000 in cash and cocaine, often at gunpoint.
A different judge denied bail earlier Monday to defendant officer Michael Spicer. That decision is expected to be appealed.

Defense lawyers said the accusers are all criminals, including a convicted colleague now cooperating in the FBI probe.

Prosecutors said the indicted officers are threats to the witnesses in the case.

The officers have pleaded not guilty since their arrests Wednesday.

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