Government Corruption News StoriesExcerpts of Key Government Corruption News Stories in Major Media
Note: This comprehensive list of government corruption news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
Remember the "carried interest" loophole that lets hedge fund executives and private equity managers – among the wealthiest people in America – pay a tax rate no higher than most Americans? It's a pure scam. They get the tax break even though they invest other peoples' money rather than risk their own. Barack Obama promised to get rid of the loophole. He failed. So, remarkably, did Donald Trump. Now that Democrats are trying to find ways to finance President Biden's Build Back Better package, you might think that the carried interest loophole would be high on their list. After all, closing it could raise $180bn over 10 years. Think again. The loophole – which treats the earnings of private equity managers and venture capitalists as capital gains, taxed at a top rate of just 20%, instead of income, whose top tax rate is 37% – remains as big as ever. Bigger. Influential Democrats, such as House ways and means committee chair Richard Neal, argue that closing the loophole would hobble the private equity industry, and, by extension, the US economy. The truth is there's zero economic justification for retaining this loophole. The sole reason the loophole survives even during Democratic Congresses, is fierce lobbying by the private equity industry – and the dependence of too many Democrats on campaign funding from the partners of private equity and hedge funds. The private equity industry ... has contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to congressional campaigns.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
Arpad Pusztai spoke for only two and a half minutes during his interview for ITN's World in Action in 1998, but it was enough to end his career. The Hungarian-born expert in lectins, a type of protein, had spent decades working at the Rowett Institute in Aberdeen and had almost 300 scientific papers and three books to his name. In the mid-1990s, with big food manufacturers increasingly developing and promoting genetically modified crops, he had been asked to investigate the effect that their products, specifically GM potatoes, could have on rats. His data showed that those being fed GM potatoes experienced stunted organ and brain growth and disturbance to their immune systems. Pusztai ... agreed to discuss his research on television in the hope of attracting new funding. His comments, which were promoted by the programme in a press release headed "new health fears over 'Frankenstein' food", started a media frenzy. Pusztai was suspended and his raw data was seized. According to [author Andrew] Rowell: "All GM work was stopped immediately and Pusztai's team was dispersed. His three PhD students were moved to other areas. He was threatened with legal action if he spoke to anyone. His phone calls and emails were diverted. No one was allowed to speak to him either." In Pusztai's telling ... the Rowett Institute came under pressure from senior figures in the government and the food industry. Two employees told him that the institute had taken calls from the office of Tony Blair, the prime minister.
Note: Read more about this important scientist. And for more on the dangers of GM food, see this important book summary. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and GMOs from reliable major media sources.
On July 19, 2016, American Special Operations forces bombed what they believed were three ISIS "staging areas" on the outskirts of Tokhar. They reported 85 fighters killed. In fact, they hit houses far from the front line. More than 120 villagers were killed. In early 2017 in Iraq, an American war plane struck a dark-colored vehicle ... bearing not a bomb but a man named Majid Mahmoud Ahmed, his wife and their two children. They and three other civilians were killed. None of these deadly failures resulted in a finding of wrongdoing. These cases are drawn from a hidden Pentagon archive of the American air war in the Middle East since 2014. The trove of documents – the military's own confidential assessments of more than 1,300 reports of civilian casualties, obtained by The New York Times – lays bare how the air war has been marked by deeply flawed intelligence, rushed and often imprecise targeting, and the deaths of thousands of civilians, many of them children. In only a handful of cases were the assessments made public. Not a single record provided includes a finding of wrongdoing or disciplinary action. According to the military's count, 1,417 civilians have died in airstrikes in the campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria; since 2018 in Afghanistan, U.S. air operations have killed at least 188 civilians. But The Times's analysis of the documents found that many allegations of civilian casualties had been summarily discounted, with scant evaluation. And the on-the-ground reporting ... found hundreds of deaths uncounted.
Note: If American civilians were killed anywhere by a foreign drone, there would be a media uproar. Where's the justice for these inexcusable deaths? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
President Joe Biden signed a record-shattering military budget earlier this week, and a new analysis ... predicted that if recent contracting trends continue, the Pentagon will funnel $407 billion worth of public funds to private weapons makers this fiscal year - more than the federal government spent when sending $1,400 relief checks to most Americans in 2021. Stephen Semler, co-founder of the Security Policy Reform Institute, found that "from fiscal year (FY) 2002 to FY2021, 55% of all Pentagon spending went to private sector military contractors." "Military spending involves a massive redistribution of wealth from the public to private sector," wrote Semler. "There are over 700 lobbyists representing for-profit military contractors in D.C., and this redistribution of wealth is why they're there." In a Jacobin essay ... Semler argued that Biden is doubling down on the "New Cold War" framework embraced by former President Donald Trump, whose administration claimed that the best way for the U.S. to prevent an armed confrontation with China and Russia "is to be prepared to win one." "Biden's budget allocates nearly $40 billion more than the Trump administration, $170 billion more than Obama's last budget, and 5% more than he campaigned on. Less than 8% of the funding Biden sought for his domestic agenda has come through," [Semler said]. "Adjusted on a per-year average," Semler added, "Biden has only delivered $55 billion of the $700 billion he promised for human and physical infrastructure."
When lawyers were preparing to defend against a lawsuit over a death in police custody in Fresno, Calif., they knew whom to call. Dr. Gary Vilke has established himself as a leading expert witness by repeatedly asserting that police techniques such as facedown restraints, stun gun shocks and some neck holds did not kill people. Officers in Fresno had handcuffed 41-year-old Joseph Perez and, holding him facedown on the ground, put a spinal board from an ambulance on his back as he cried out for help. The county medical examiner ruled his death, in May 2017, a homicide by asphyxiation. Dr. Vilke, who was hired by the ambulance provider, charged $500 an hour and provided a different determination. He wrote in a report ... that Mr. Perez had died from methamphetamine use, heart disease and the exertion of his struggle against the restraints. Dr. Vilke ... is an integral part of a small but influential cadre of scientists, lawyers, physicians and other police experts whose research and testimony is almost always used to absolve officers of blame for deaths, according to a review of hundreds of research papers and more than 25,000 pages of court documents, as well as interviews with nearly three dozen people. Their views infuriate many prosecutors, plaintiff lawyers, medical experts and relatives of the dead, who accuse them of slanting science, ignoring inconvenient facts and dangerously emboldening police officers to act aggressively. Many of the experts also have ties to Axon, maker of the Taser.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.
According to the nonprofit organization Airwars, the U.S. has conducted more than 91,000 airstrikes in seven major conflict zones since 2001, with at least 22,000 civilians killed and potentially as many as 48,000. How does America react when it kills civilians? Just last week, we learned that the U.S. military decided that nobody will be held responsible for the August 29 drone attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, that killed 10 members of an Afghan family, including seven children. After an internal review, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin chose to take no action, not even a wrist slap for a single intelligence analyst, drone operator, mission commander, or general. U.S. bombings since 2014 have consistently killed civilians but ... the Pentagon has done almost nothing to discern how many were harmed or what went wrong and might be corrected. Savagery consists of more than the act of killing. It also involves a system of impunity that makes clear to the perpetrators that what they are doing is acceptable, necessary – maybe even heroic – and must not cease. To this end, the United States has developed a machinery of impunity that is arguably the most advanced in the world, implicating not only a broad swathe of military personnel but also the entirety of American society. The machinery of impunity actually has two missions: The most obvious is to excuse people who should not be excused. The other is to punish those who try to expose the machine, because it does not function well in daylight.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
The caption read "hanging with the homies." The picture above it showed several Black men who had been lynched. Another photo asked what someone should do if their girlfriend was having an affair with a Black man. The answer, according to the caption, was to break "a tail light on his car so the police will stop him and shoot him." The comments represent a sliver of a trove of racist text messages exchanged by more than a dozen current and former Torrance police officers and recruits. The Times examined some of the contents of the until-now secret texts and identified a dozen Torrance police officers under investigation for exchanging them. The broad scope of the racist text conversations, which prosecutors said went on for years, has created a crisis for the Torrance Police Department and could jeopardize hundreds of criminal cases in which the officers either testified or made arrests. California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta said Wednesday his office will investigate the department in the wake of the scandal. The officers' comments spared no color or creed. While no officers currently face criminal charges in direct relation to the text messages, the racist exchanges have led to the dismissal of at least 85 criminal cases involving the officers implicated in the scandal. County prosecutors had tossed 35 felony cases as of mid-November, and the Torrance city attorney's office has dismissed an additional 50, officials said. In total, the officers were listed as potential witnesses in nearly 1,400 cases in the last decade.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.
A journalist writing for The BMJ has won a British Journalism Award for his series on the financial interests of medical experts advising US and UK governments during the covid-19 pandemic. As a result of the articles written by Paul Thacker, an investigative journalist, the financial disclosures of members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) were published for the first time. Thacker's first story looked at two groups critical to the UK government's pandemic response–SAGE and the Vaccine Taskforce. He examined both and found that they did not disclose their members' financial conflicts. Some members were tied to companies with a monetary interest in the government's purchases. Thacker ... filed freedom of information (FoI) requests with multiple government departments and Oxford University. In a second story he wrote about the government's repeated refusal to turn over these data. However, the FoI ... revealed that Thacker's original request was apparently sent to a special government department to handle any reporter considered a "campaigner" or to have "extreme views." Eventually, the government relented and published the financial conflicts for the members of SAGE. In the final story of the series Thacker looked at the panels that the US and UK governments used to authorize vaccines and revealed that ... disclosure policies were inadequate. Some experts evaluating the vaccines had significant industry ties that were not disclosed.
Note: Read the full text of Thacker's article titled, "Covid-19: How independent were the US and British vaccine advisory committees?" and another titled "How the case of the Oxford professor exposes a transparency crisis in government." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
Laurie Valeriano first heard about DINP decades ago. "I started to worry about the chemicals that come out of all these plastics," she said. DINP, one of a group of chemicals called phthalates that makes plastic more pliable, was one of them. It was already clear that DINP could cause cancer and interfere with hormonal functioning. In February 2000, Valeriano and her employer, the Washington Toxics Coalition, asked the Environmental Protection Agency to add DINP to the list of chemicals it monitors through a nationwide program called the Toxics Release Inventory. Seven months later ... the EPA announced that it planned to grant the group's request and issued a proposed rule that would add DINP to the toxics inventory. Yet more than 20 years later, the EPA has yet to make good on its promise to add DINP to the list of chemicals. It never finalized the rule. Companies have continued to churn out DINP ... in astounding amounts without disclosing how much individual plants make and emit. In addition to the cancer and hormone disruption that sparked Valeriano's claim 21 years ago, we now know more about how DINP affects the sexual development of children. It decreases sperm motility, increases malformations of the testes and other organs, and makes boys ... more likely to be infertile later in life. In fact, the entire group of phthalates – an estimated half-billion pounds of which are made and used in the U.S. each year – seem to cause a similar constellation of health problems.
Dr. Anthony Fauci is rewriting history. He is doing so to disguise his shameful role in delaying promotion of an AIDS treatment that would have prevented tens of thousands of deaths in the first years of the epidemic. In my book, Body Counts, A Memoir of Politics, Sex, AIDS, and Survival, I recount how slow the federal government was in publicizing the use of Bactrim and other sulfa drugs to prevent PCP (the pneumonia that was then the leading killer of people with AIDS). Had Fauci listened to people with AIDS and the clinicians treating them, and responded accordingly, he would have saved thousands of lives. Between 1987, when [AIDS activist Michael] Callen met with Fauci and 1989, when the guidelines were ultimately issued, nearly 17,000 people with AIDS suffocated from PCP. Most of these people might have lived had Fauci responded appropriately. Callen and others ... met with Fauci to plead for his support. They explained that many frontline AIDS physicians, following the lead of Dr. Joseph Sonnabend, were already using Bactrim effectively to prevent the recurrence of PCP. The science was clear. Fauci refused to acknowledge the evidence and, according to one account, even encouraged people with AIDS to stop taking treatments, like Bactrim. Treatment activist Richard Jefferys wrote in 2001 that Fauci "went as far as telling activists attending a 1987 meeting that there was no data to suggest PCP prophylaxis was beneficial and that it may, in fact be dangerous."
There's often outcry when a public figure eschews covid-19 related rules – but even more so when those breaking the rules are the same ones who set them. In 2020, guideline-flouting officials faced backlash across the world – from New Zealand to Ireland to Canada to the United States. There was California Gov. Gavin Newsom's attendance at a lavish $350 per person dinner party. Or the British prime minister's then-top aide Dominic Cummings, who defied a lockdown for a 260-mile road trip while he and his wife were infected with covid-19. And the senator in the Philippines who broke quarantine to visit the hospital where his wife was in labor – all waiting for his coronavirus test result, which ended up positive. As the pandemic persists, the cycle of rule-flouting, public outcry, followed by an official apology and sometimes, a resignation, continues. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is embroiled in another scandal – this one with a Christmas theme. In early December, controversy arose over a 2020 Christmas party (or series of parties) at 10 Downing Street, the British prime minister's office, in the midst of a strict coronavirus lockdown. Johnson issued an apology at the House of Commons. After the prime minister's apology, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, Keir Starmer, said that the "millions" who followed public health protocols last Christmas "now think the prime minister was taking them for fools, that they were lied to."
In his new bestselling book The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health, Children's Health Defense board chair and lead counsel Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. provides readers with previously little-known information on Dr. Fauci's handling of pandemics prior to COVID including the AIDS epidemic. "...Dr. Fauci copied the choreographed script for winning remdesivir's EUA from the worn rabbit-eared playbook that he developed during his early AIDS years, and then used repeatedly across his career to win approvals for deadly and ineffective drugs," writes Kennedy. "Time and again, he has terminated clinical trials of his sweetheart drugs the moment they begin to reveal cataclysmic toxicity. He makes the absurd claim that his drug-du-jour had proven so miraculously effective that it would be unethical to deny it to the public, and then he strong-arms FDA to grant his approvals." One of the AIDS treatments promoted by Dr. Fauci and his agency [NIAID] was azidothymidine (AZT), a powerful and toxic chemotherapy drug used widely for AIDS patients despite the availability of less toxic options. AZT, according to SPIN magazine, is a drug that "was worse than the disease." Kennedy also exposes Dr. Fauci's experiments using various toxic AIDS drugs on Black and Hispanic foster children in New York and six other states.
Note: Read more about the foster children used as guinea pigs to test HIV drugs. If you don't have time for the whole book (rated 4.9 stars on amazon.com), you can find an engaging summary of key points on this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and health from reliable major media sources.
Longtime vaccine critic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has a runaway bestseller on his hands with his blockbuster book skewering Dr. Anthony Fauci, no thanks to what his publisher calls a "total media blackout." "The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health" continued its reign Wednesday atop the Amazon and USA Today nonfiction bestseller lists and ranked fifth on The New York Times' list of top-selling books. The book is flying off the shelves even though technology platforms refuse to carry its advertising. Mainstream media outlets won't touch it, much to the frustration of Tony Lyons, president and publisher of Skyhorse Publishing. "I defy you to find a single case where the No. 1 bestselling book in America over a 16-day period has not been mentioned in one mainstream newspaper in the country," Mr. Lyons [said]. Not even the aura of the Kennedy name has tempted the mainstream media. The snub hasn't occurred in a vacuum. Mr. Kennedy became persona non grata after he launched his vaccine criticism in 2005. Dr. Fauci is a media favorite, and social media companies have cracked down on content that contests the coronavirus authorities in the name of squelching "misinformation." Among the book's claims are that the White House chief medical adviser oversaw the "disastrous mismanagement" of the 2020 pandemic and has prioritized the pharmaceutical industry over public health.
Note: If you don't have time for the whole book (rated 4.9 stars on amazon.com), you can find an engaging summary of key points on this webpage. Learn how the CIA is involved in suppressing Kennedy's book and so much more. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation and the coronavirus from reliable sources.
Children's Health Defense's board chair and lead counsel Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.'s highly anticipated book, The Real Anthony Fauci, is available today in bookstores throughout the U.S. and Canada. The New York Times bestselling author's latest work "details how Fauci, Gates and their cohorts used their control of media outlets, scientific journals, key government and quasi-governmental agencies, and influential scientists and physicians to flood the public with fearful propaganda about COVID-19 virulence and pathogenesis, and to muzzle debate and ruthlessly censor dissent," said Kennedy. The Real Anthony Fauci exposes a side of Dr. Fauci that has thus far been shielded from the public by the ongoing media blackout of any information that counters the Pharma/government narrative. "Fauci's gargantuan yearly disbursements allow him to dictate the subject, content and outcome of scientific health research across the globe," said Kennedy. "These annual disbursements also allow Fauci to exercise dictatorial control over the army of 'knowledge-and-innovation' leaders who populate the 'independent' federal panels that approve and mandate drugs and vaccines – including the committees that allowed the Emergency Use Authorization of COVID-19 vaccines." "Fauci's COVID policies also spawned new insidious authoritarianism – and propelled America down a slippery slope toward a grim future as a dark totalitarian security and surveillance state," said Kennedy.
Note: If you don't have time for the whole book (rated 4.9 stars on amazon.com), you can find an engaging summary of key points on this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
President Joe Biden's new vaccine mandates for federal employees don't apply to members of Congress or those who work for Congress or the federal court system. Biden issued two executive orders on Thursday requiring vaccination against COVID for federal workers and contractors who work for the federal government. He also asked the Department of Labor to issue an emergency order requiring businesses with more than 100 employees to ensure their workers are vaccinated or tested on a weekly basis. However, Biden's order on federal workers applies to employees of the executive branch. The House of Representatives and the Senate belong to the separate legislative branch, and the courts to the judicial branch. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said ... that the House couldn't require members to be vaccinated. "I can't go to the Capitol Physician and say, 'Give me the names of people who aren't vaccinated' ... We can't do that," she said. Pelosi's office reiterated that position ... on Friday, saying the speaker's April 29 remarks were "referring to the institution in which she serves." "She's saying she cannot force Members to be vaccinated, which is true," the statement said. In August, a group of 19 Democrats in the House wrote a letter to the Capitol's attending physician, Dr. Brian P. Monahan, asking him to consider a vaccine requirement or a minimum of two COVID tests per week for members and staff who can't show proof of vaccination. No requirement has yet been put in place.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
Saudi Arabia used "incentives and threats" as part of a lobbying campaign to shut down a UN investigation of human right violations committed by all sides in the Yemen conflict, according to sources with close knowledge of the matter. The Saudi effort ultimately succeeded when the UN human rights council (HRC) voted in October against extending the independent war crimes investigation. The vote marked the first defeat of a resolution in the Geneva body's 15-year history. Speaking to the Guardian, political officials and diplomatic and activist sources with inside knowledge of the lobbying effort described a stealth campaign in which the Saudis appear to have influenced officials in order to guarantee defeat of the measure. In one case, Riyadh is alleged to have warned Indonesia – the most populous Muslim country in the world – that it would create obstacles for Indonesians to travel to Mecca if officials did not vote against the 7 October resolution. In another case, the African nation of Togo announced at the time of the vote that it would open a new embassy in Riyadh, and receive financial support from the kingdom to support anti-terrorism activities. The resolution was defeated by a simple majority of 21-18, with seven countries abstaining. In 2020, the resolution passed by a vote of 22-12. "That kind of swing – from 12 no's to 21 – does not just happen," said one official. Nations that supported the measure ... were apparently caught off guard by the Saudis' aggressive tactics.
When Ron Nixon, The New York Times's homeland security correspondent, got an exclusive story about a top Department of Health and Human Services official admitting the agency lost track of nearly 1,500 migrant children, he couldn't publish it right away. It was, without a doubt, the kind of breaking news The Times considers important to delve into quickly and thoroughly. But Mr. Nixon had agreed to an embargo that required him to wait until 10 a.m. on the morning of a congressional hearing about how the agency was keeping track of migrant children to publish his article. Embargoes, set by government agencies, medical journals, theater groups, publishing houses and countless other sources are a common practice in journalism. They entail an agreement between a source and a reporter, or the reporter's publication, that the story will not be published before a given date and time. While it's certainly not a crime to break an embargo, – and in fact, many reporters do so by accident, by misreading a time zone, for example – it comes with consequences. When one news outlet breaks an embargo and hits the publish button, the embargo is lifted for all of the outlets, sometimes instigating a scramble to the finish line. For anyone who breaks an embargo, there's a risk of losing a relationship with a source. Sometimes, the damage is necessary in order to serve readers best. And sometimes ... a reporter may not want to break an embargo. "I try to keep my word," Mr. Nixon said. "That's currency."
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on media manipulation from reliable major media sources.
In the torturous history of the U.S. government's black sites, the F.B.I. has long been portrayed as acting with a strong moral compass. Its agents, disgusted with the violence they saw at a secret C.I.A. prison in Thailand, walked out, enabling the bureau to later deploy "clean teams" untainted by torture to interrogate the five men accused of conspiring in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. But new information that emerged this week in the Sept. 11 case undermines that F.B.I. narrative. The two intelligence agencies secretly arranged for nine F.B.I. agents to temporarily become C.I.A. operatives in the overseas prison network where the spy agency used torture to interrogate its prisoners. The once-secret program came to light in pretrial proceedings in the death penalty case. The proceedings are currently examining whether the accused mastermind of the Sept. 11 plot, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, and his four co-defendants voluntarily confessed after years in the black site network, where detainees were waterboarded, beaten, deprived of sleep and isolated to train them to comply with their captors' wishes. At issue is whether the military judge will exclude from the eventual trial the testimony of F.B.I. agents who questioned the defendants. Earlier testimony showed the F.B.I. participating remotely in the C.I.A. interrogations through requests sent by cables to the black sites seeking certain information from specific detainees, including Mr. Mohammed after he was waterboarded 183 times to force him to talk.
We got a touching email Wednesday from a 30-year veteran of a Massachusetts police force. He wrote that his distinguished career "was all tarnished ... after I reported (an) officer lying on the stand and going to the FBI." He was responding to an investigative story we published this week, Behind the Blue Wall, that documented how often police whistleblowers face retaliation for reporting misconduct. They have been threatened, fired, jailed, one was even forcibly admitted to a psychiatric ward. "I want to personally thank you for bringing this to light," the officer wrote. "You were able to write what I have experienced for the last 6 years. After reading this I took a deep breath and for the first time since this began I feel liberated from the stigma of being a rat, untruthful, discredited." Police covering for colleagues, and punishing those who don't, isn't new. But with this investigation, we wanted to quantify, for the first time, the extent of the problem and how it impacts the whistleblowers. Reporters sent out 400 public records requests and secured tens of thousands of pages of records. They found 300 cases in the past decade where an officer helped expose misconduct – a small window into how the system works. The vast majority of those cases ended with those whistleblowers saying they faced retaliation. "Whistleblowing is a life sentence," former Chicago undercover narcotics officer Shannon Spalding told our team. She faced death threats ... after she exposed corruption that led to dozens of overturned convictions.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption from reliable major media sources.
When Daunte Wright was killed last spring by a police officer in Minnesota after being pulled over for expired registration tags, the case drew national attention. So have several other seemingly avoidable deaths of motorists. Now, a New York Times investigation reveals the scope of such cases across the country – and why traffic stops for minor offenses can escalate into fatal encounters. Over the last five years, The Times found, the police killed more than 400 drivers or passengers who were not wielding a gun or a knife or under pursuit for a violent crime. Traffic stops – which are often motivated by hidden budgetary considerations because of the ticket revenue they generate – are the most common interactions between police officers and the public. Yet the police consider them among the most dangerous things they do. Presumption of peril has been significantly overstated, but it has become ingrained in police culture and court precedents – contributing to impunity for most officers who use lethal force at vehicle stops. In case after case, officers avoided criminal liability when they claimed to have acted in self-defense. In the roughly 400 deaths, five officers were convicted. Nearly two dozen cases are still pending. While prosecutors deemed most of the killings justifiable, local governments paid at least $125 million to resolve legal claims in about 40 cases.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.