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Top MuckReads: Dirty Cops, Brazen Squatters and a Secret CIA Prison

Our rundown of this week’s best investigative or accountability journalism.

Here are this week's top must-read stories from #MuckReads, ProPublica's ongoing collection of the best watchdog journalism. Anyone can contribute by tweeting a link to a story and just including the hashtag #MuckReads or by sending an email to [email protected]. The best submissions are selected by ProPublica's editors and reporters and then featured on our site and @ProPublica.

Florida’s flawed system for policing the police, Sarasota Herald-Tribune

One cop in Florida has been the subject of 40 internal affairs cases, including 16 for battery or excessive force. He's been fired five times and arrested three. But he's been allowed to keep his job, thanks to the state's system for protecting the police.

Contributed by @daudig

Racial gap found in traffic stops in Milwaukee, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Black drivers are seven times as likely as white drivers to be pulled over in Milwaukee, an analysis of nearly 46,000 traffic stops found. The police chief said the disparity comes from the department's targeted crime-fighting approach, which results in more police in neighborhoods with larger minority populations.

Contributed by @amuykaron

Squatters claim more than $8 million worth of Tarrant County properties, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

If squatters pay a $16 filing fee, keep up with property taxes and live in a house for three years or more, the courts may not be able to stop them, because of a loophole in Texas law. One person moved from Memphis to claim a $2.7 million mansion, while another nabbed a house while the owner was in Houston undergoing chemotherapy. The owner’s belongings were tossed in a dumpster in the driveway.

Contributed by @TxWatchdog

NJ attorney general’s 23 double-dippers pocket millions, New Jersey Watchdog

Retire as briefly as a day, stay on the payroll, then collect pension checks for the rest of your career on top of your salary. Twenty-three attorney general staffers in New Jersey have done it, costing state taxpayers $1.56 million per year.

Contributed by @rachaelgleason

Inside Romania’s secret CIA prison, Associated Press

AP located one of the CIA “black sites” where high-profile detainees, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, stayed before being transferred to Guantanamo Bay. It was in the basement of a government building on a residential street in Romania’s capital. All of the prisons were closed by 2006.

These stories and many more can be found at ProPublica. You can also subscribe to a daily #MuckReads email or follow ProPublica on Twitter. Reader submissions are key to making #MuckReads a success — please contribute!

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