The advocate for America’s worst charities
Attorney Errol Copilevitz represents some of the worst charities in the U.S. Hear reporter Kendall Taggart discuss meeting Copilevitz.
Earlier this year, a defense contractor named Edward Snowden leaked classified documents to a small group of reporters about the National Security Agency’s top-secret surveillance programs. The information he provided has given the public an unprecedented view of the scope and cost of those programs.
Unlike most leakers, Snowden chose to go public. Federal prosecutors have charged Snowden with espionage and theft of government property. Snowden is now in Moscow, where he has temporary asylum.
Ben Wizner, an attorney for the ACLU, is coordinating Snowden’s legal defense. We spoke with him at his office in New York about the value and limits of leaks.
A history of official secrecy
Researchers at Columbia University are working on a project they hope will save a part of U.S. history.
They are building a “declassification engine.” Using tools from statistics and computer science, the researchers are trying to archive and review millions of pages of government documents and restore sections of text that officials have redacted. They hope the project will provide a history of official secrecy and help ensure government accountability.
Reporter Amanda Aronczyk spoke with professor Matthew Connelly about the project.
The VA’s pain pill habit
Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the number of opiate prescriptions by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has skyrocketed. Data shows prescriptions for four opiates – hydrocodone, oxycodone, methadone and morphine – have surged by 270 percent from 2001 to 2012. In some cases, the VA has prescribed drugs to known addicts.
- VA’s opiate overload feeds veterans’ addictions, overdose deaths
- Interactive map: Painkillers and the VA
- Watch “Drugging America’s Veterans,” a video on veterans’ battle with addiction to narcotic painkillers.
- Share your story.
- Localize our data.
The drama of an investigation
Playwright Jon Bernson turned an investigative report about female veterans’ struggles into a one-act play.
The drama, “A Guide to the Aftermath,” debuted earlier this year at Tides Theatre in San Francisco as part of our StoryWorks collaboration with the theater.
- Watch “Her War,” the documentary by Mimi Chakarova that inspired Bernson’s play.
Policing on camera
In August, a federal judge ruled that the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policy was unconstitutional because it resulted in discriminatory practices and unreasonable searches.
As part of her ruling, Judge Shira A. Scheindlin of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan ordered the department to establish a pilot program requiring officers in the five precincts where most of the stops occur to wear small cameras as part of their uniforms. The cameras would record officers’ interactions with the public, an “objective record of stop-and-frisks,” Scheindlin wrote.
New York City is appealing the judge’s ruling.
Alexis Karteron, senior staff attorney with the New York Civil Liberties Union, discusses the stop-and-frisk ruling.
- Watch this video to see how officers in one California police department use the cameras every day.
In 2007, Larry Ingraham received a call that his brother, Van, was in a hospital in Newport Beach, California.
Larry was told that Van had suffered a minor injury. But when Larry arrived at the hospital, he learned that Van had a broken neck and crushed spinal cord. A neurosurgeon told Larry, “Somebody did this to your brother.”
Van died six days after he was found lying on the floor of his room. The severely autistic man had spent most of his life at a state-run facility for the developmentally disabled.
Larry, a retired police officer, spent years trying to find out how Van died in a place that was supposed to keep him safe. Hear what happened when he met Ryan Gabrielson, a reporter investigating the state police force responsible for protecting residents of facilities like the one where Van lived.
Host: Al Letson
Executive Producers: Ben Adair, Susanne Reber
Editors: Amy Pyle, Mia Zuckerkandel
Producers: Michael Montgomery, Michael Schiller
Reporters: Aaron Glantz, Kendall Taggart, Ryan Gabrielson, Amanda Aronczyk
Data team: Agustin Armendariz, Aaron Williams, Michael Corey
Production Assistance: Allegra Bandy, Stan Alcorn, Bianca Bruno, Julia B. Chan, Sharon Pieczenik, Ben Rosenthal
Mix Engineer: Jim Briggs
RevealRadio.org: Jaena Rae Cabrera, Nikki Frick, Christine Lee, Sam Ward, Mia Zuckerkandel
Video Producers: Adithya Sambamurthy, Michael Schiller
Senior Management for PRX: Jake Shapiro, John Barth, Kerri Hoffman
Senior Management for CIR: Robert J. Rosenthal, Mark Katches, Joaquin Alvarado, Susanne Reber
"Reveal" is a co-production of The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX. It was co-created by Ben Adair, Susanne Reber, Joaquin Alvarado, John Barth and Kerri Hoffman.