Inmate deaths reveal “torturous” use of Tasers

In ‘The Prisoners,’ published this week, Reuters documented 104 deaths of inmates behind bars after jailers stunned them with Tasers, often as part of a larger mosaic of force. Most inmates were stunned though video footage showed they were already immobilized, many in handcuffs.  The story and video package revealed abuses so severe UN watchdogs…

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VA medical center employees kept jobs despite abuse, neglect of patients

Federal disciplinary files show that some Mountain Home VA Medical Center employees who abused, disrespected and in some cases even refused to help patients were able to keep their jobs. An 11-month WJHL-TV investigation found that patients at the Tennessee facility were roughly handled, mocked and refused water. Records also show an operator in the business office didn’t…

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Phoenix toxicologist’s criminal record uncovered

An investigation by KPNX 12 News-Phoenix uncovered a history of embezzlement by the lab director for the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office. The story calls into question the director’s testimony in criminal trials, as lawyers can impeach witnesses with convictions for crimes that that demonstrate dishonesty. The director’s expert testimony in numerous trials is potentially…

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Thousands of Massachusetts kids in state custody reported as runaways

Kids in state custody ran away more than 3,400 times over a three-year period, according to figures obtained by Boston’s WBZ-TV. Some of those children ran away repeatedly, while 30 of the kids were missing for a year or longer, the records show. The WBZ I-Team received the data from the Department of Children and…

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Houston’s $8 million police body-camera program isn’t living up to its promises

A four-month investigation by KHOU into Houston’s police body-cameras found that the $8 million program isn’t delivering the transparency it promised.  The program has led to confusion and frustration between police and prosecutors, according to emails obtained by the station. Officials in Harris County, Texas found 729 criminal cases that lacked body camera footage –…

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Environmental Police officers swimming in overtime cash from pool perk

It is a lucrative job perk picked up by Massachusetts taxpayers. WBZ-TV discovered some Environmental Police officers are racking up hundreds of overtime hours, even doubling their salaries, by working at state-operated pools in the middle of their shifts.  Critics call the unusual “split shift” system a waste of resources. Over the two-month period the…

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Toxic fire exposes problems with hazardous material sites across California

A chemical fire at a recycling plant tore through a neighborhood in Maywood, California on June 14 and forced hundreds of residents to evacuate their homes. An NBC4- Los Angeles investigation found that Panda International Trading Co., the metal scrap yard that backs up to the neighborhood, was already on regulators’ radar.  The fallout from…

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School districts misreport seclusion, restraint incidents

Central Indiana schools use seclusion and restraints on children in order to calm them down and protect them from harming themselves and others. However, an investigation by WRTV found that some school districts were not accurately reporting how often a teacher has to use seclusion or a restraint on a child. Restraints and seclusions are most…

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Minnesota schools failing to follow guidelines on testing for lead in water

KSTP News in Minnesota found that school officials across Minnesota are not following the state’s recommendations to test for lead in school water systems at least once every five years. Although these are recommendations and not regulations, a leading authority on lead amounts in water said that this issue was a critical health concern for…

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Investigation looks into Arizona police lieutenant arrested for drunken driving

12 News (NBC-Phoenix) exposed a Mesa police lieutenant who thought he was above the law and tried to get away with extreme drunken driving. Police video footage of the traffic stop obtained by the station reveals the lieutenant belittled and berated the arresting officer – a rookie cop – and his field training officer and…

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