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Scientists claim New York police forced them to fake DNA tests to convict more suspects

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Scientists Shannon Morris, Melissa Lee and Kevin Rafferty are suing the crime lab that they were fired from at New York State police department. When the two tried to correct errors they saw in the lab, they say they were silenced and others retaliated against them because the errors were working out in their favor to garner more prosecutions.

The department was working to implement a computerized DNA analysis system called TrueAllele which would guarantee results of the tests are correct. But because of pressure from the police to get more convictions, the use of the system was scrapped.

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Their attorney John Bailey explained, “there are people that are very pro-prosecution. They were putting pressure on scientists to reach conclusions that were not scientifically valid. That’s what my clients were objecting to.”

The three scientists have worked for the department for over 20 years with otherwise unblemished records. Of the 37 total staffers that were trained using the TrueAllele system, Morris, Lee and Rafferty were the most vocal in their criticisms of the department’s old analysis method. They explained that it wasn’t long before they were singled out in an “internal investigation” and accused of ethical violations. It served as a pretense to silencing them and blocking the program’s full implementation.

State Police spokeswoman Kristin Lowman said the agency used the TrueAllele system but canceled it a year before their five-year contract was up. “The program was not progressing because of the internal investigation. The State Police is committed to the technology and is seeking a new request for proposals to move forward,” she said.

A second case has also been filed in New York City. According to a CBSNews/AP report, after she questioned the use of the DNA profiling technique, Dr. Marina Stajic was told she could retire or be fired from her job as the lab’s director. Critics have argued that the system, known as “low copy number,” is unreliable and should not be used in court. Stajic says in the lawsuit documents that her superiors were “displeased that [she] appeared to be aligned with the criminal defense lawyers on the commission” whom she “viewed as adversarial.”

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“Courts in all five boroughs have recognized that OCME’s DNA techniques are reliable and generally accepted by the scientific community,” the Medical Examiner’s office spokeswoman Julie Bolcer said in a statement to CBS.

Lowman claims police aren’t concerned about the validity of testing, however, “We were audited by the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation on all aspects of our forensic biology (DNA) operation and are in full compliance with all of our accrediting and oversight body requirements.”

Neither case has gone to court as of yet.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump goes off on Twitter rant about ‘My Stock Market’ at nearly 2 a.m. in France

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President Donald Trump has an early morning meeting Monday with Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi. He also has a full day of meeting with the G-7, but that wasn't his focus in the early morning hours.

"My Stock Market gains must be judged from the day after the Election (sic), November 9, 2016, where the Market went up big after the win, and because of the win. Had my opponent won, CRASH!" Trump tweeted Sunday night in the U.S., which was nearly 2 a.m. in France where the president is staying during the G-7 summit.

My Stock Market gains must be judged from the day after the Election, November 9, 2016, where the Market went up big after the win, and because of the win. Had my opponent won, CRASH!

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Robbery sends shoppers at California Westfield Topanga Mall fleeing in panic of possible mass shooting

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Americans are running scared as mass shootings erupt all over the United States. The Los Angeles police are responding to a possible shooting that hasn't been verified. Local news reports that it could have been a robbery, but it was enough to send patrons into sheltering in place at the Westfield Topanga Mall. The mall is in a northwestern suburb of Los Angeles and to the east of Thousand Oaks.

ABC7 News reported that it was an organized group of robbers who tried to do a "Smash and grab" at a Neiman Marcus store in Canoga Park.

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Trump told his administration to check if he can stop hurricanes with a nuclear bomb

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President Donald Trump's lack of knowledge about science prompted another embarrassing moment when the U.S. president said that we should simply "nuke hurricanes" to solve the problem.

Another hurricane is headed toward Puerto Rico this week. The island is still recovering from being hit twice in 2017. Trump's solution, however, wasn't entirely thought out, however, Axios reported Sunday.

"I got it. I got it. Why don't we nuke them?" Trump said during a hurricane briefing at the White House, sources said. "They start forming off the coast of Africa, as they're moving across the Atlantic, we drop a bomb inside the eye of the hurricane, and it disrupts it. Why can't we do that?"

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