Extra Extra : Police

Memo details problems in the Omaha VA police department

A memo obtained by KETV-Omaha helped the station shed light on problems with the police department attached to the VA’s Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System.

The document accuses command staff of “unfair and unethical” hiring practices and describes a fight in the police squad room. The station also talked to officers with experience working in the Omaha VA police department.

Watch the story here.

Extra Extra Monday: ATF stings, voter fraud and the new subprime bubble

Investigation: ATF drug stings targeted minorities | USA TODAY

The nation's top gun-enforcement agency overwhelmingly targeted racial and ethnic minorities as it expanded its use of controversial drug sting operations, a USA TODAY investigation shows.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has more than quadrupled its use of those stings during the past decade, quietly making them a central part of its attempts to combat gun crime. The operations are designed to produce long prison sentences for suspects enticed by the promise of pocketing as much as $100,000 for robbing a drug stash house that does not ...

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Theme park employees caught in sex stings, child porn arrests

A six-month investigation by CNN reveals 35 employees from Florida’s Walt Disney World, five from Universal and two from SeaWorld have been arrested for sex crimes against children, trying to meet minors for sex, or for child pornography since 2006. CNN obtained police interrogation videos, police and court records and interviewed some of the men who were arrested, as well as law enforcement. The investigation has prompted proposed legislation that would allow businesses catering to children to polygraph employees.

Plans to expand scope of license-plate readers alarm privacy advocates

Documents obtained by The Center for Investigative Reporting show that a leading maker of license-plate readers wants to merge the vehicle identification technology with other sources of identifying information, alarming privacy advocates. Vigilant Solutions is pushing a system that eventually could help fuse public records, license plates and facial recognition databases for police in the field.

The Livermore, California, company released its own facial recognition software last year for use in stationary and mobile devices. The technology uses algorithms to determine whether a person’s face matches that of somebody already in a law enforcement database. Like license-plate readers, facial ...

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Miami Gardens ‘stop and frisk’ nabs thousands of kids

A Fusion investigation has found that he was just one of 56,922 people who were stopped and questioned by Miami Gardens Police Department (MGPD) between 2008 and 2013. That’s the equivalent of more than half of the city’s population.

Not one of them was arrested.

It was all part of the city’s sweeping "stop and frisk” style policy that may be unparalleled in the nation.

Fusion’s analysis of more than 30,000 pages of field contact reports, shows how aggressive and far-reaching the police actions were. Some residents were stopped, questioned and written up multiple ...

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Public isn't told about state probes of police wrongdoing

The Missouri Peace Officers Standards and Training Program, or POST, is in charge of reviewing allegations of misconduct by police officers to see whether they should retain their state licenses.  Because of the secretive nature of the process, three years later, we don't know if a POST review has or has not been held on the now-former Branson, Missouri officer.

KYTV-Branson has been investigating confidential settlements between police departments and citizens who have accused officers of wrongdoing. The station started looking at this issue after learning about two confidential settlements by the City of Branson.  Both settlements came after ...

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Virginia law enforcement agencies get millions from seizures

The Virginian-Pilot found that law enforcement agencies in Virginia have received more than $57 million over the past six years to use in their departments by seizing cash, cars, land and other property.

It's a process known as civil asset forfeiture, and while it rakes in millions for police, critics say it forces people never convicted of crimes into court battles to get their property back.

Virginia agencies have used the millions they've received from such seizures to pay for a little bit of everything: K-9 units, bullets, undercover vehicles.

Defendants can get the civil forfeiture postponed until ...

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Repeat drunk drivers still able to get plea deals

Eleven years of data analyzed by the Columbus Dispatch showed that those charged multiple times with operating a vehicle while impaired were able to get their charges reduced through a plea deal almost as often as those who had no recent drunk driving charges. 

Some say repeat offenders know how to beat the system. Drivers can refuse to submit to a breath test if they are pulled over by police. In 2009, defendants refused chemical tests in 36 percent of the cases handled by city prosecutors. In 2013, it was 41 percent. Without the results of such tests, prosecutors lack ...

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Despite law, vehicles often not impounded in repeat DUI cases

A KCRA-Sacramento investigation found that officials often don’t use a law that allows them to impound cars of repeat DUI drivers.

The station obtained statistics on impounds from local police departments throughout Northern California. They found that some law enforcement agencies haven’t impounded a single repeat offender’s car in four years.  By cross-referencing those numbers with arrested drunk drivers who fit the impound criteria, the station learned there were dozens of drivers who could have been towed but weren’t.

Extra Extra Monday: Medicare billing, police chauffeurs, judicial ethics, patronage jobs

Dangerous Minds/Insane System | The Virginian-Pilot

But what happened in Apartment 433 was more than just another murder.

It was a window into today's mental health care: a system as dysfunctional as the clients it serves. So gutted it has little power to put away even the most dangerous for any real length of time – and almost nowhere to keep them, even if it could.

Last year's tragedy in Sen. Creigh Deeds’ family inspired at least 60 mental health bills in the General Assembly.

Nothing emerged that will keep anyone any safer from someone like Bruce Williams.

 

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