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Friends want probe of 77-year-old's death after arrest

"Branson residents are questioning why city police arrested a 77-year-old man with health problems on an Arkansas bad check warrant from 1996 and held him in jail for five days.

Shortly after his release from Taney County Jail, Evans E. Ray was found dead in his home. It's unclear how long he was deceased in the home before he was found."

Read the full story from the Springfield News-Leader here.

Before he was handed a badge and a gun as a police officer for Florida Atlantic University, Jimmy Dac Ho was no stranger to trouble in South Florida.

Fired from the Broward Sheriff's Office in 2004 after a violent fight with his wife, Ho spent two years trying to get another job as a police officer. He was rejected by at least seven departments because of his history at the Sheriff's Office before he landed at FAU in 2006.

Once there, he racked up complaints of excessive force, intimidation and sexual harassment. Many of his problems involved women: Records show he was reprimanded for sending inappropriate text messages and making lewd comments to female employees and students.

Read the full story from The South Florida Sun Sentinel here.

The Richmond Public Housing Police Department’s web page claimed that "the department provides city-wide law enforcement authority which enables officers to make arrests on and off RRHA property."

But who granted the public housing police, authority to make arrests off public housing property? An investigation by WRIC-Richmond discovered the answer to that is - no one.

Every police department is supposed to have its jurisdiction spelled out and filed in an official court document. But the court has no record of any kind regarding RRHA and its officers' jurisdiction.

The Richmond Commonwealth Attorney's office is looking into this situation and has written a letter to RRHA telling them to preserve all their arrest records.

Check out the full story from WRIC here.

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 a key piece of evidence. 

On-duty police officers routinely chauffeur Fulton County commissioners around town in apparent violation of the board’s own policy prohibiting the practice.

Commissioners have asked officers to drive them to the airport, to concerts and to scores of other public events in recent years, even though county rules forbid using police officers to transport elected officials, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation has found.

The State Police kept secret an evidence-handling scandal that erupted in 2011 at a bustling barracks in Westchester County in which drugs and other evidence were lost, leading to botched prosecutions, the retirement of two senior investigators and the forced resignation of a trooper accused of lying to internal affairs investigators.

The only person arrested in the investigation was a nurse who is married to a former senior investigator.

Yet another university community has been accused of denying justice to a female sexual assault victim in order to protect a star male athlete. The New York Times today chronicled the shortcomings of an investigation by Tallahassee police into a reported sexual assault in which Florida State University quarterback Jameis Winston was the alleged assailant.

Police failed to conduct a proper investigation when the incident was reported, the Times found. Even after the accuser identified her attacker to the police, Winston was never interviewed and DNA evidence was not collected. By the time prosecutors began to investigate 11 months later, the trail had gone cold.

The university also failed to conduct any investigation of its own into the incident, though there is evidence that the athletics department was aware that there was an open police investigation.

Read the story here.

Newly released Memphis police records show detectives secured DNA testing within weeks of the 2003 home-invasion rape of a girl, then 12, now suing the city over its massive backlog of untested rape kits.

In a story last month exploring early missed opportunities to stop serial rapist Anthony Alliano, The Commercial Appeal reported 12-year-old Madison Graves’ kit was part of the backlog and not tested until 2011. Graves was one of seven victims sexually assaulted between 2003 and 2010 by Alliano, 43, who is serving a 178-year sentence after pleading guilty last year.

Gene Vela was supposed to graduate in May with a master’s degree in global policy studies. It would have been a milestone for Vela, who was among the first U.S. Marines involved in the initial invasion of Iraq.

Vela, 30, battled post-traumatic stress disorder in the Marines and after leaving the military, and his struggles have included run-ins with Austin police — for driving while intoxicated, among other interactions.

Across the United States, police and prosecutors are allowing tens of thousands of wanted felons — including more than 3,300 people accused of sexual assaults, robberies and homicides — to escape justice merely by crossing a state border, a USA TODAY investigation found. Those decisions, almost always made in secret, permit fugitives to go free in communities across the country, leaving their crimes unpunished, their victims outraged and the public at risk.

Read the USA TODAY report. Check out some of the local reporting that’s come out of the project.

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