Monday, January 19, 2015

Cops Setting Folks on Fire And More in ProPublica Muckreads

Flashbangs, a 2018 Candy Land' VA Center and More in MuckReads Weekly

by Terry Parris Jr ProPublica, Jan. 16, 2015, 3:44 p.m.

What one cop said to another after burning a pregnant woman with a flashbang grenade: "Y'all done fucked up." Flashbangs were originally designed for military-style hostage rescues. But these days, local police use them regularly to serve "no-knock" warrants. These modified hand grenades burn hotter than lava, and are used by law enforcement without national training requirements and little oversight. A ProPublica review found 50 people who were maimed, burned or killed from police use of the devices. 2014 ProPublica via @JuliaAngwin

They call this VA center "Candy Land" and the guy who runs it "The Candy Man." The Center for Investigative Reporting examines painkiller prescription rates at a rural Wisconsin VA center under the direction of Dr. David Houlihan. During his tenure, opiate prescriptions quintupled despite a decline in patients seeking care, CIR reports. Staff and pharmacists who have complained about the center's practices have either been fired or resigned in protest. "It's a system that's gone completely haywire," said one whistleblower who quit his position after two months on the job.  2014 The Center of Investigative Reporting via @willcir

When Child Protective Services fails to protect the child. Texas CPS investigates tens of thousands of child abuse and neglect cases every year. In 2009, the Texas Legislature ordered CPS to create public reports of the cases, including details of the abuse, cause of death and CPS' involvement. Of the reports analyzed in an American-Statesman investigation, more than a quarter of the children who died had been involved in multiple CPS investigations. The lack of analysis, the Statesman writes, means that "Texas' child protection workers effectively have been operating with blinders, missing deadly patterns and key pieces of information that could help protect kids." 2014 The Austin American-Statesman via @justiceron and @jinatx
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