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.
Inside the Police Failure to Stop Darren Sharper’s Rape Spree(ProPublica/New Orleans Advocate)
Nine women reported being raped or drugged by Sharper to four different agencies before his January 2014 capture. But police and prosecutors along the way failed to investigate fully the women's allegations. They made no arrests. Some victims and eyewitnesses felt their claims were downplayed. Corroborating evidence, including DNA matches and video surveillance, was minimized or put on hold.
Perhaps most critically, police did not inquire into Sharper's history. Had they done so, they would have detected a chilling predatory pattern that strongly bolstered the women's accounts.
“But as the evolution of Reg AB II suggests, banks and their advocates have managed to preserve many of the industry’s pre-crisis practices by focusing lobbying efforts on obscure corners of the regulatory world, far from the glare of congressional debate or public scrutiny. Many of these agencies are staffed by appointees from the industry they regulate and return to it when their stints are over.”
“The now-discontinued operation, carried out by the DEA's intelligence arm, was the government's first known effort to gather data on Americans in bulk, sweeping up records of telephone calls made by millions of U.S. citizens regardless of whether they were suspected of a crime. It was a model for the massive phone surveillance system the NSA launched to identify terrorists after the Sept. 11 attacks.”
How kicking a trash can became criminal for a 6th grader (Center for Public Integrity)
“U.S. Department of Education data shows that in most states black, Latino and special-needs (disabled) students get referred to police and courts disproportionately. The volume of referrals from schools is fueling arguments that zero tolerance policies and school policing are creating a ‘school-to-prison pipeline’ by criminalizing behavior better dealt with outside courts.”
Utah TV dumps turning into an e-waste nightmare, liability (Salt Lake Tribune)
“He illegally stockpiled them and other electronics equipped with now-obsolete cathode-ray tubes, or CRTs. Mountains of the clunky monitors are entering the national waste stream in the wake of the electronics industry's transition to flat screens, while the market for the old monitors' leaded glass has vanished.”
“While many incidents were benign — two trespassers were skateboarders — other intruders posed greater dangers. At the nation's busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta, three different intruders reached runways — in 2007, 2012 and 2014. One was an aggravated assault suspect who came within 50 feet of a plane that had landed as he was pursued by police.”
Rolling Stone’s investigation: ‘A failure that was avoidable’ (Columbia Journalism Review)
“The problem was methodology, compounded by an environment where several journalists with decades of collective experience failed to surface and debate problems about their reporting or to heed the questions they did receive from a fact-checking colleague.”
#MuckReads Local: From patient to defendant — one of Springfield’s two health systems sues far more over debt (Springfield News-Leader)
#MuckReads Archive: We reported on the issue of nonprofit hospitals suing patients over debts back in December. Our story on one Missouri hospital that sued and seized wages from thousands of uninsured patients unable to pay for their care prompted Sen. Charles Grassley to ask the hospital to explain its practices.