Extra Extra : Police

Extra Extra Monday: Uneven assessments, National Guard misconduct, Chicago migration myth

Across Wisconsin, uneven property assessments fly in the face of fairness | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By measure after measure, in cities, towns and villages across Wisconsin, property assessors are discounting uniformity and trampling on fairness, while officials with the state Department of Revenue do little to rectify the disparities, an investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has found.

In dozens of communities, 20% or more of residential property taxes are being paid by the wrong people, according to the Journal Sentinel's analysis of Department of Revenue records for each of the state's 1,852 municipalities. The analysis considered communities ...

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Records show mistakes, questionable evidence in woman's overturned murder case

In light of the recent exoneration of Michelle Murphy, who spent 20 years in prison on a wrongful conviction for killing her baby, the Tulsa World investigated the elements that led to Murphy's 1995 conviction in the first place.

The investigation shows the state of Oklahoma relied on faulty blood analysis, the dubious testimony of a troubled 14-year-old neighbor and an unrecorded, incriminating statement to convict Murphy. All three elements were so problematic they should have been challenged in court. Also, jurors never heard other evidence that might have given them reasonable doubt about convicting Murphy.

To read the ...

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Judge 'sickened' by abuse program's failures

Minnesota law mandates that child-protection agencies investigate child abuse cases with evidence of egregious harm and substantial endangerment. Yet since 2005, more than 20,000 cases of children deemed at “high risk” for more abuse have been routed to family assessment, in which social workers don’t investigate the cases and instead try to work with families.

A Star Tribune review of more than 400 child abuse cases found family assessment was used after children were reported to have been severely physically and sexually abused or abandoned. The review showed that dozens of children were later harmed, including at least ...

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Asset seizures fuel police spending

Police agencies have used hundreds of millions of dollars taken from Americans under federal civil forfeiture law in recent years to buy guns, armored cars and electronic surveillance gear. They have also spent money on luxury vehicles, travel and a clown named Sparkles.

The details are contained in thousands of annual reports submitted by local and state agencies to the Justice Department’s Equitable Sharing Program, an initiative that allows local and state police to keep up to 80 percent of the assets they seize.

The documents offer a sweeping look at how police departments and drug task forces across ...

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Massive gender gaps in Massachusetts prostitution arrests persist despite conflicting evidence

Researchers from the New England Center for Investigative Reporting analyzed police arrests in Massachusetts cities and found notable discrepancies in the number of women to men arrested in prostitution incidences. Despite a law passed in 2011 raising the punishments of sex buyers, or “Johns,” the women being hired made up over 70 percent of the total arrests from 2013.

Besides being caught in public acts with a prostitute, the only way men can be arrested in these cases is by setting up “sting” operations involving decoy women and a support group of officers to make the arrest. The city of ...

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Review finds flaws, inconsistencies in death investigation

NJ Advance Media investigated the six-year-old case of Kenwin Garcia, who died at age 25 under suspicious circumstances involving police. The company, which serves The Star-Ledger and NJ.com, found inconsistencies in the accounts of the day. The reporting exposes flaws that led to the determination that Garcia died of a controversial medical condition.

To read the full story, click here.

Reports on college crime are deceptively inaccurate

College crime stats are inaccurate and misleading thanks to an abused reporting system that allows off-campus crime to sometimes slip through the cracks, according to an investigation by The Columbus Dispatch and the Student Press Law Center.

The Education Department does little to monitor or enforce compliance with the Clery Act, which was enacted in 1991 to alert students to dangers on campus but often fails at its mission, according to the investigation.

To read the full story, click here.

Extra Extra Monday: Injury-leave program, secret service fumbles, the cost of rape

Blacks disproportionately arrested for marijuana possession in Pinellas, Hillsborough counties | Tampa Bay Times

Black people in Pinellas and Hillsborough are at least six times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession as white people. It's not because of who smokes pot and who doesn’t.

Racial disparities in pot possession arrests is not a new topic. But the disparities are particularly pronounced in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, a Tampa Bay Times analysis found.

 

L.A. pays millions as police and firefighter claims rise | L.A. Times

An injury-leave program for Los Angeles police and firefighters has cost taxpayers ...

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Extra Extra Monday: Ray Rice and the NFL, sexual assaults at the University of South Florida, a questionable robbery conviction

A stickup. A manhunt. A mistake? | The Sarasota Herald-Tribune

A long time ago, a family was robbed. The police pounced. A man went to jail. A lot of people wondered if the law got it right. It sure doesn’t look like it.

The Herald-Tribune spent nine months examining the case against Andre Bryant, now 28 and serving his seventh year in a Panhandle prison. New evidence suggests Bryant is not the robber and shows how lawmen developed tunnel vision during their inquiry, dismissing clues and other suspects during an abbreviated investigation.

 

Rice case: purposeful misdirection by team, scant investigation ...

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Extra Extra Monday: Florida law allows troubled charter operators to keep running schools

Shuttered: Florida’s Failed Charter Schools | Naples Daily News

As charter schools have boomed in Florida — 622 operated in 2013-14, up from 257 in 2003-04 — many have also busted. Since charter schools were first permitted in 1996, 269 out of nearly 900 opened charter schools have closed, a failure rate of about 30 percent. That tally includes six schools closed in Lee County and two closed in Collier County.

To better understand Florida’s charter school failings, the Daily News undertook a first-of-its-kind task, examining all charter schools that have closed since 2008. The newspaper reviewed hundreds of closure documents ...

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