Miami New Times Best Investigations of 2012: A Wrongly Charged Boxer, Corrupt Mayors and Bogus Pot Busts

Categories: Best of Miami
yathomas riley.jpg
Boxer Yathomas Riley got out of prison thanks to a New Times investigation this year. 
Here at Riptide we do plenty of joking about mugshots and celebrating the sheer insanity that is life in the Sunshine State. But Miami New Times' staff writers also spend months investigating the kinds of stories that daily newspapers just don't have the time or resources to focus on any more.

In 2012, New Times investigations helped free a pro boxer who'd been in jail for more than two years on questionable charges, exposed Miami-Dade police for orchestrating a deadly raid and a shady pot bust, shone a light on doping at horse tracks and more. Our best investigative work of 2012:

New Times Frees Boxer Yathomas Riley, Jailed for Two Years Without Trial
For two years, Yathomas Riley -- once a promising heavyweight fighter with nationally televised bouts -- sat in Miami jail on charges that he'd shot his girlfriend in the head. But prosecutors ignored significant evidence, not least a criminal plot by Riley's girlfriend, a prison guard, to swindle Social Security Numbers from her inmates. After two New Times stories (here and here), prosecutors dropped charges and freed the boxer, crediting the paper with unearthing new evidence. "You put all the pieces together," Riley told New Times after leaving jail in August.

Miami-Dade Police Lured Robbers to the Redland, Then Shot Them
In this investigation, staff writer Michael E. Miller looked into a shocking blood bath in the Redland: Four would-be pot robbers, gunned down as they entered what they thought was a growhouse full of weed. In fact, they'd been carefully lured there by police. Miller's work raised serious questions about whether Miami-Dade police's method -- used again in several other deadly raids -- amounted to sanctioned executions.

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