Here’s this week’s installment of stories that made us take notice:
A police-led investigation into the shooting of an unarmed pastor in Georgia by members of a drug task force failed to uncover that one of the officers involved wasn’t properly certified to even carry a gun, writes reason.com’s Radley Balko. Three masked, undercover officers swarmed Jonathan Ayers after he used an ATM, and they shot him after he grazed an officer with his car as he tried to get away, thinking that he was being robbed. “[T]he aggressive and short-sighted apprehension of Jonathan Ayers that led to his death [is] bad enough. That a police officer untrained in the use of lethal force and unqualified to be holding a badge and gun was put on a narcotics task force, and then placed in a position where he was able to shoot and kill a non-suspect is worse,” Balko concluded. “But the kicker has to be that the subsequent police-led investigations of this high-profile case failed to turn up such a critical piece of information. It ought to cast more doubt on the already dubious notion that police shootings should only be investigated by other police officers.”
Atrocities committed by U.S.-led military forces in Afghanistan — and subsequent misinformation from official sources — are often unreported, unquestioned and unchallenged by a press corps that has become caught up in “embed culture,” says Jerome Starkey, who reports from Afghanistan for the Times of London, in this commentary published by neimanwatchdog.org. Some reporters, constrained by security policies set in far-off newsrooms and dependent on their military hosts for food, shelter and protection, “prefer access to truth,” Starkey writes.
Parents’ cigarette smoke gives 15,000 kids asthma every year in the United Kingdom, according to a new report from the Royal College of Physicians. Even more develop chest infections and ear problems because of their parents’ second-hand smoke, the Guardian reports.