July 30, 2010 -- On this week's episode of "Brian Ross Investigates," ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross examines the latest in the case of Rachel Hoffman, who was murdered while on a sting as a confidential informant in Tallahassee, FL.
Since a "20/20" investigation into her murder, the Florida legislature passed "Rachel's Law," a confidential information safety act that requires law enforcement to take into account someone's age and maturity, emotional state and the level of risk a mission would require before sending them out on a sting. Under the law, police cannot promise an informant more lenient treatment, as they did with Hoffman.
Tallahassee police told ABC News they have made policy changes in the way they conduct undercover operations, consistent with the provisions in Rachel's Law. But an attorney for the Hoffman family told Ross that despite initially admitting negligence and policy violations and apologizing for what happened to Hoffman, the city is now trying to smear Hoffman's name.
"Now that the lawsuit has been filed, the city is refusing to accept any responsibility," attorney Lance Block told Ross via Skype. "They're blaming Rachel all over again, and really we're back to where we started."
Hoffman's family has filed a civil suit against the city for Hoffman's death, which is expected to go to trial next year.
Hoffman was a 23-year-old recent college graduate in 2008 when she was caught with marijuana and two ecstasy pills. She was reportedly told by police that she would go to prison for four years unless she became an undercover informant for them. She was sent untrained to an undercover meeting to buy a large amount of drugs and handgun from two suspected drug dealers, who subsequently murdered Hoffman during the botched sting operation.
"Brian Ross Investigates" is a weekly 30-minute investigative news magazine show that features exclusive interviews, undercover videos and extended investigations and story updates.
"The show is part of our expanded digital efforts in this new age of news," Ross said. "It's an exciting venture that we hope will allow viewers to interact with our investigative team and offer input as we continue reporting."
"Brian Ross Investigates" airs every Friday on Hulu.com - CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE FULL EPISODES - and ABC News Now, the network's 24-hour news channel available throughout the U.S. and Europe, at 1:36pm. Each show is also available on mobile devices, including the iPhone and iPad.
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This week is the 17th episode of "Brian Ross Investigates." All shows are archived on Hulu for viewing.