Extra Extra : Police

Extra Extra Monday: Prenatal screening tests, prison labor programs and nonprofit donations

Oversold and misunderstood: Prenatal screening tests prompt abortions | The New England Center for Investigative Reporting

Sparked by the sequencing of the human genome a decade ago, a new generation of prenatal screening tests, including MaterniT21, has exploded onto the market in the past three years. The unregulated screens claim to detect with near-perfect accuracy the risk that a fetus may have Down or Edwards syndromes, and a growing list of other chromosomal abnormalities.

But a three-month examination by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting has found that companies are overselling the accuracy of their tests and doing little to ...

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America's gun-toting guards armed with poor training, little oversight

Armed security guards have become a ubiquitous presence in modern life, projecting an image of safety amid public fears of mass shootings and terrorism. But often, it’s the guards themselves who pose the threat.

Across the U.S., a haphazard system of lax laws, minimal oversight and almost no accountability puts guns in the hands of guards who endanger public safety, a yearlong investigation by The Center for Investigative Reporting and CNN has found.

Hundreds of police killings are uncounted in federal stats

About 45-percent of killings at the hands of police officers don’t show up in the FBI’s stats on justifiable homicides, making it difficult to determine how many incidents happen each year, a Wall Street Journal report has found.

The Journal put data from 105 of the country’s largest police agencies up against the FBI’s numbers and found more than 550 police killings were missing from the national tally or, in a small number of cases, not linked to the agency involved.

According to the Journal’s analysis, more than 1,800 police killings occurred within the ...

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Extra Extra Monday: Baby boomers, school shootings and health licensing boards

Review shows health licensing boards voted improperly | The Boston Globe

Four Massachusetts health licensing boards met nearly three dozen times over five years without enough members present, casting a legal cloud over numerous votes on disciplinary proceedings, license applications, and investigations, according to an internal audit by the Department of Public Health.

The review, which confirms concerns first raised by the Globe a year ago, found the boards of pharmacy, physician assistants, dentistry, and perfusionists (who operate heart-lung machines during surgery) held 465 votes without a quorum from January 2008 to May 2013. Two observers said they were shocked by ...

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College disciplinary boards impose slight penalties for serious crimes

Secretive college judicial systems make it easy for students responsible for violent offenses – including sexual assault – to transfer between schools.

The Columbus Dispatch and Student Press Law Center used disciplinary records from 25 public universities to identify students who had transferred despite university punishment. Some of the students were reprimanded for more than one serious offense at the same school. Sanctions for such offenses are often minor – placing a student on probation, issuing a written reprimand, or ordering the accused to write a paper.

The investigation also found that most schools don’t understand or refuse to follow state and ...

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DOD, service weapons missing from local departments

KCRA-Sacramento found that police sometimes lose track of handguns, rifles and military surplus rifles.

The investigation shows the Stockton Police Department lost track of two M-16 rifles that were a part of the Department of Defense’s 1033 program. Stockton was suspended from the program after losing the rifles.

The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department was similarly suspended. The department maintains its weapons losses were due to a clerical issue and that the weapons didn’t end up on the streets.

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.

Extra Extra Monday: Death by deadline, online diplomas, vaccine court

Death by Deadline | The Marshall Project

An investigation by The Marshall Project shows that since President Bill Clinton signed the one-year statute of limitations into law - enacting a tough-on-crime provision that emerged in the Republicans' Contract with America - the deadline has been missed at least 80 times in capital cases. Sixteen of those inmates have since been executed -- the most recent on Thursday, when Chadwick Banks was put to death in Florida.

 

Milwaukee kickboxer Dennis Munson Jr.'s death follows cascade of errors by fight officials | Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel revealed a series of missteps by fight officials ...

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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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Denver jail's Taser use at odds with federal guidelines

Denver Sheriff Department deputies are relying on their Tasers to force compliance with their orders by inflicting pain on inmates, according to a report by the Denver Post.

The Post obtained the 14 Taser cases so far this year through a public records request. An analysis found that deputies are using the stun guns outside federal guidelines and against the department’s own use-of-force policy.

In at least six of the incidents, the inmate who was shocked had been experiencing some sort of mental health episode.

For the full story, click here.