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Louisiana Coroner Concludes Handcuffed Suspect Killed Himself and More in #MuckReads Weekly

Some of the best #MuckReads we read this week. Want to receive these by email? Sign up to get this briefing delivered to your inbox every weekend.

You can’t make me understand how my son took his left hand, when he was handcuffed behind the back, and shot himself.A new coroner’s report on the death of a man who died in police custody contradicts the official police report, but still supports the Louisiana State Police’s assertion that the man shot himself to death while handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser. — NBC News via @lriordanseville

A Chinese national walked into a U.S. intelligence facility ... No joke. The computer engineer, Lizhong Fan, spent 5 months at “one of the best-run and most effective” intelligence facilities in the U.S., then disappeared without a trace. How did he gain access to the facility — and sensitive data for 5 million people — without the standard vetting? And what did he take? Read the full investigation by ProPublica and the Center for Investigative Reporting

Thanks to telecom lobbying, 20 states have banned or restricted local governments from offering Internet service to their residents. It’s part of a push by AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner Cable Inc. and other big providers to curb the spread of faster, cheaper municipal broadband services that could compete with their own. Cities are pushing back, and now the FCC is considering a rule that would pre-empt state laws currently blocking local providers. — Center for Public Integrity via @ebdufton

Medicare’s rating system for the nation’s 15,000 nursing homes lets facilities largely rate themselves. “The Medicare ratings, which have become the gold standard across the industry, are based in large part on self-reported data by the nursing homes that the government does not verify,” the New York Times reports. The ratings also don’t factor in complaints filed to state regulators or state enforcement actions. — The New York Times via @cmcloutier

The Pentagon has suspended 184 state and local police departments for losing weapons or otherwise breaking its 1033 program rules. Fusion reports a “pattern of missing M14 and M16 assault rifles” across the country and other cases where local departments have lost track of .45-caliber pistols, shotguns and even Humvees. — Fusion via @katiasav

Every hour, Louisiana loses an entire football field of land to erosion and rising sea levels. The land being swallowed by the Gulf of Mexico is home to half of the country’s oil refineries, a matrix of pipelines that serve 30 percent of its total oil and gas supply, a port vital to 31 states, and 2 million people who would need to find other places to live. Climate change, oil and gas development and levees on the Mississippi River are all driving the change — and it’s going to get worse. Learn more about Louisiana’s disappearing coastline in this special investigation by ProPublica and The Lens.

#MuckReads Local

•  Georgia’s parole board won’t say how or why it restores gun rights to convicted felons, saying it considers such decisions a “confidential state secret.” — Atlantic Journal-Constitution via @doreli12

•   Police in Tacoma, Washington, have purchased surveillance devices called “Stingrays” to collect cellphone data on citizens, according to documents obtained by The News Tribune.  — via @KateReports

•  Memphis police said this woman’s 1988 rape case tested negative for DNA traces, but records show that key evidence in her case was actually destroyed in 2002. — Commercial Appeal via  @brizzyc

 

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