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Girl’s death leads to scrutiny of police department

The Fayetteville Observer investigated a police department's mishandling of a child abuse case. The department's actions ultimately led to its loss of felony arrest powers, scrutiny from the Cumberland County district attorney and a grand jury probe of corruption. The death of 3-year-old Anijah Burr had never been reported and was kept hidden behind a wall of secrecy, but the newspaper pieced together the story by talking with current and former Spring Lake police officers and reviewing hundreds of pages of unpublished police notes, reports and medical records.

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