When Wendy Davis decided to find out how many untested rape kits there were in the state of Texas, she readily admits she had no idea what she was getting into. Davis, a former state senator, was first told that there was a backlog by a representative of the state forensics lab in 2009. Around the U.S., advocates for survivors of sexual assault were sounding the alarm about a national emergency: thousands of DNA kits from sexual assaults sitting untested in labs – sometimes for decades.
The latest audit of the Austin Police Department’s crime lab would read as a comedy of errors, if the stakes weren’t so high. Some concerns in the report released last fall are simpler to fix – equipment failures or cross-contaminating evidence. Reading further though, the lab had flaws in many of its most fundamental operations. It was not only using scientifically unsound testing procedures, but its staff was often not even following those low standards.
Click on the circles or rectangles to display information about events. What started a year ago as a few concerns over an audit has spiraled into the permanent closure of the city’s crime lab and the firing of nearly all of its employees. The lab’s failures have added to a decades-long testing backlog, and may have compromised the evidence used in over 1,800 convictions. Addressing these issues will cost taxpayers a predicted $10 million, in addition to the cost of opening a new lab.
Muck Rack makes it simple to find people, tweets, or articles that mention any name, keyword, company, hashtag etc. We've compiled this guide to help you make the most of your search.
Selecting a term
Start searching tweets, articles from media outlets, articles mentioned in tweets, journalists'
names, titles and bios with some suggested searches:
Companies or Topics (e.g. iPhone, Microsoft)
Phrases (e.g. "cloud computing") — use quotes to keep the terms together
Twitter handles (e.g. @username) — returns those who have mentioned or replied to
Names (e.g. "David Pogue")
Hashtags (e.g. #sxsw, #london2012)
Bio details (e.g. vegan, Olympics, father)
Muck Rack's Advanced Search allows for many boolean operators.
Find results that mention multiple specified terms, use AND or
+. For example, ensure each result contains both Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg by
searching Musk AND Zuckerberg or Musk + Zuckerberg.
Use the operators OR or , to broaden your search when you'd like either of
multiple terms to appear in results. (This is the default behavior of our search when no operators
are used). For example, results will contain either cake or cookie by searching cake OR cookie or cake,cookie
Use NOT or - to subtract results from your search. For
example, searching Disney will yield results about the Walt Disney Company as well as Walt Disney
World Resort. To exclude mentions of Disney World, search for Disney -World or Disney
When using one of these operators with a phrase, enclose it in quotation marks. For example, you can
find results about smartphones excluding Apple's iPhone 4S by searching smartphone -"iPhone
Exact case matching or punctuation
If you're searching for a brand name or keyword that relies on specific punctuation marks or capitalization, you can
find results that match your exact query by adding matchcase: before the keyword you're searching for, like matchcase:E*TRADE .
Use parentheses to separate multiple
boolean phrases. For example, to find journalists talking about having fun in Disney World or
Disneyland, search for ("disney world" OR disneyland) AND fun.
An asterisk can be used to search for any variation of a root word truncated by the asterisk. For example, searching for admin* will return results for administrator, administration, administer, administered, etc.
A near operator is an AND operator where you can control the distance between the words. You can vary the distance the near operation uses by adding a forward slash and number (between 0-99) such as strawberries NEAR/10 "whipped cream", which means the strawberries must exist within 10 words of "whipped cream".