Extra Extra : Crime

Federal records shed light on ‘staggering disparity’ in U.S. arrest rates

While police in Ferguson, Missouri arrest black people at a rate almost three times higher than people of other races, an analysis by USA TODAY found that trend extends to cities across the country. At least 1,581 police departments arrest black people at rates even more lopsided than in Ferguson. USA TODAY based its findings on arrests reported to the federal government in 2011 and 2012.

After prank, West Virginia trooper fatally shot uninvolved 18-year-old boy

The Charleston Gazette combed through hundreds of pages of investigative documents to recount the night an 18-year-old died after an altercation with a West Virginia state trooper.

Timmy Hill was shot twice, once in the head and once in the chest, after a struggle with Senior Trooper B.D. Gillespie. Gillespie had gone searching for the teens responsible for pranking him by putting wet underwear on his cruiser earlier in the night. Although Hill wasn’t involved, he’d met up with the teens who were.

The Gazette’s story uses interviews, photos and documents presented to a grand jury ...

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N.J. troopers repeatedly slammed Kenwin Garcia to ground during fatal '08 incident, records show

In an update to a major investigation released earlier this month, NJ Advance Media has found that a Newark man who died in 2008 after a struggle with police was repeatedly slammed to the ground by those restraining him.

The Oct. 1 report – published at NJ.com and in The Star-Ledger – focused on the life and troubling death of Kenwin Garcia. In 2008, Garcia was stopped by New Jersey State Police while walking along the side of a highway. An altercation ensued, and Garcia died days later. The resulting state investigation was largely glazed over publicly. No charges were filed ...

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Jacksonville children are in detention longer than Florida law intends

Florida juveniles are being locked up in Jacksonville-area detention centers longer than in any other part of the state and longer than the law intends, according to a Florida Times-Union investigation.

The wide-ranging look at the area’s juvenile detention system also found that kids are sometimes held in overcrowded conditions. The troubling conditions are draining taxpayers’ wallets and raising concerns about the legal system’s handling of juveniles.

Extra Extra Monday: Uneven assessments, National Guard misconduct, Chicago migration myth

Across Wisconsin, uneven property assessments fly in the face of fairness | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By measure after measure, in cities, towns and villages across Wisconsin, property assessors are discounting uniformity and trampling on fairness, while officials with the state Department of Revenue do little to rectify the disparities, an investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has found.

In dozens of communities, 20% or more of residential property taxes are being paid by the wrong people, according to the Journal Sentinel's analysis of Department of Revenue records for each of the state's 1,852 municipalities. The analysis considered communities ...

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Records show mistakes, questionable evidence in woman's overturned murder case

In light of the recent exoneration of Michelle Murphy, who spent 20 years in prison on a wrongful conviction for killing her baby, the Tulsa World investigated the elements that led to Murphy's 1995 conviction in the first place.

The investigation shows the state of Oklahoma relied on faulty blood analysis, the dubious testimony of a troubled 14-year-old neighbor and an unrecorded, incriminating statement to convict Murphy. All three elements were so problematic they should have been challenged in court. Also, jurors never heard other evidence that might have given them reasonable doubt about convicting Murphy.

To read the ...

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Judge 'sickened' by abuse program's failures

Minnesota law mandates that child-protection agencies investigate child abuse cases with evidence of egregious harm and substantial endangerment. Yet since 2005, more than 20,000 cases of children deemed at “high risk” for more abuse have been routed to family assessment, in which social workers don’t investigate the cases and instead try to work with families.

A Star Tribune review of more than 400 child abuse cases found family assessment was used after children were reported to have been severely physically and sexually abused or abandoned. The review showed that dozens of children were later harmed, including at least ...

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Massive gender gaps in Massachusetts prostitution arrests persist despite conflicting evidence

Researchers from the New England Center for Investigative Reporting analyzed police arrests in Massachusetts cities and found notable discrepancies in the number of women to men arrested in prostitution incidences. Despite a law passed in 2011 raising the punishments of sex buyers, or “Johns,” the women being hired made up over 70 percent of the total arrests from 2013.

Besides being caught in public acts with a prostitute, the only way men can be arrested in these cases is by setting up “sting” operations involving decoy women and a support group of officers to make the arrest. The city of ...

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Review finds flaws, inconsistencies in death investigation

NJ Advance Media investigated the six-year-old case of Kenwin Garcia, who died at age 25 under suspicious circumstances involving police. The company, which serves The Star-Ledger and NJ.com, found inconsistencies in the accounts of the day. The reporting exposes flaws that led to the determination that Garcia died of a controversial medical condition.

To read the full story, click here.

Reports on college crime are deceptively inaccurate

College crime stats are inaccurate and misleading thanks to an abused reporting system that allows off-campus crime to sometimes slip through the cracks, according to an investigation by The Columbus Dispatch and the Student Press Law Center.

The Education Department does little to monitor or enforce compliance with the Clery Act, which was enacted in 1991 to alert students to dangers on campus but often fails at its mission, according to the investigation.

To read the full story, click here.