Month: April 2019

Read the records of 85,000 cops who were investigated for misconduct

At least 85,000 law enforcement officers across the USA have been investigated or disciplined for misconduct over the past decade, an investigation by USA TODAY Network found.

Officers have beaten members of the public, planted evidence and used their badges to harass women. They have lied, stolen, dealt drugs, driven drunk and abused their spouses.

Despite their role as public servants, the men and women who swear an oath to keep communities safe can generally avoid public scrutiny for their misdeeds.

The records of their misconduct are filed away, rarely seen by anyone outside their departments. Police unions and their political allies have worked to put special protections in place ensuring some records are shielded from public view, or even destroyed.

Reporters from USA TODAY, its affiliated newsrooms across the country and the nonprofit Invisible Institute in Chicago spent more than a year creating the biggest collection of police misconduct records.

Obtained from thousands of state agencies, prosecutors, police departments and sheriffs, the records detail at least 200,000 incidents of alleged misconduct, much of it previously unreported. The records obtained include more than 110,000 internal affairs investigations by hundreds of individual departments and more than 30,000 officers who were decertified by 44 state oversight agencies.

Purdue’s Sackler family wants global opioids settlement

Mary Jo White of Debevoise & Plimpton represents four members of the family that controls Purdue Pharma, the company that developed and marketed the painkiller OxyContin. Purdue, along with other opioid makers, wholesalers and distributors, is facing more than 2,000 suits by state, city and county officials who blame prescription opiates for sparking an unprecedented epidemic of drug abuse.

In rare public comments on behalf of the Sacklers, White told me why the family believed the litigation against them and their company is legally dubious, factually misleading and politically motivated.

Fixing opioid crisis will cost $483 billion, claims MDL expert witness

Thanks to Purdue Pharma and other defendants in the multidistrict litigation that alleges the drug companies sparked the opioid crisis, we now know how much plaintiffs claim they owe to fix it: more than $480 billion.

That is the predicted cost, according to Johns Hopkins public health professor Caleb Alexander, of a national abatement plan that would stretch over 10 years. Alexander was cited in summaries of nonpublic reports by plaintiffs’ expert witnesses that Purdue, Endo and Mallinckrodt filed last week as part of an emergency motion for more time to depose the witnesses.

The Johns Hopkins prof, according to the April 8 defense filing, estimated that the cost of providing treatment, preventative education, foster care, criminal justice resources and other services to address opioid addiction would be $452.9 billion.

Sackler Family’s Role in Opioid Crisis Revealed

The Sacklers had a new plan.

It was 2014, and the company the family had controlled for two generations, Purdue Pharma, had been hit with years of investigations and lawsuits over its marketing of the highly addictive opioid painkiller OxyContin, at one point pleading guilty to a federal felony and paying more than $600 million in criminal and civil penalties.

But as the country’s addiction crisis worsened, the Sacklers spied another business opportunity. They could increase their profits by selling treatments for the very problem their company had helped to create: addiction to opioids.

Details of the effort, named Project Tango, have come to light in lawsuits filed by the attorneys general of Massachusetts and New York. 

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