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Opening the Chicago Surveillance Fund

The Chicago Police Department (CPD) is using its Narcotics asset forfeiture funds to purchase controversial surveillance equipment. Help Lucy Parsons Labs and MuckRock conduct an independent audit of this fund to find out how this forfeiture money is being spent. We need to find out what new surveillance technologies are being used in Chicago - one of the most heavily surveilled cities in the United States.

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Seven questions to ask when reading an Amazon headquarters bid

Seven questions to ask when reading an Amazon headquarters bid

By now, you’ve all heard that Amazon is opening a second headquarters, and towns and states across the country are courting the tech giant for the 50,000 jobs and $5 billion Amazon is offering. But what are these places offering Amazon? And what does that mean for your town?

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Help us hunt down every proposal Amazon received for its second headquarters

Help us hunt down every proposal Amazon received for its second headquarters

We want to know what every single city offered Amazon as incentive for the second headquarters. We’ve requested bids from a little over 100 places - that leaves another 100+ bids we don’t know about. That’s where you come in.

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Requester's Voice: FOIA lawyer Matt Topic of Loevy & Loevy

Requester’s Voice: FOIA lawyer Matt Topic of Loevy & Loevy

Matt Topic, a Chicago-based FOIA attorney, has taken on some of the biggest public records paces of the past few years, managing to win important precedent after precedent. He shares what he looks for when considering litigation, why public records matter, and how he accidentally fell into transparency law in the first place.

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Despite reform efforts, state and local police are still teaming up with federal law enforcement to seize millions

Despite reform efforts, state and local police are still teaming up with federal law enforcement to seize millions

In recent years many states have begun to to reform civil asset forfeiture, by either reducing the percentage of money police are allowed to keep, or reducing the number of situations in which assets are allowed to be seized. While some of these efforts have been more successful than others, a practice called Equitable Sharing continues to undercut these efforts and keep the worst excesses of police seizure alive.

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How a records request helped overturn a murder conviction

How a records request helped overturn a murder conviction

This week there have been some great examples of the impact public records requests can have, including how a three-year fight for records ended up overturning a murder conviction, while another long-running transparency effort is leading to reforms in civil asset forfeiture in Illinois.

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