Tags : crime

Behind the Story: How the WSJ uncovered a flawed system of reporting police killings

Rob Barry (left) and Coulter Jones (right)

Rob Barry and Coulter Jones set out to analyze police killings, not poke holes in the system that tracks them.

But when their sources started questioning the way they’d looked at the numbers – questioning, really, the numbers themselves – the two decided there was a more fundamental issue to be explored.

Their December report for the Wall Street Journal found that the FBI’s national tally of police killings didn’t include hundreds of such incidents from the six-year period they examined. Barry and Jones received information from 105 of the largest police ...

Read more ...

Arrest records, census data reveal racial disparities in marijuana arrests

Many of us have read national stories about racial disparities in marijuana arrests. We wanted to tell our own readers what that looks like with local police departments and local people.

We found that the disparity not only exists in our area, but is much worse than disparities reported on the national and state level.

Black people in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties are at least six times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession as white people on a per capita basis.

We had started working on stories independently. After we discovered that, our editors agreed to give us ...

Read more ...

Gender gap in prostitution-related arrests found in crime data

NECIR used Google Fusion Tables to map state data

We knew that more women than men were arrested for prostitution-related crimes across the U.S. despite the fact that such offenses take both buyers and sellers.

What we wanted to find out was how each Massachusetts town differed in arrest patterns and if that gender disparity had changed following the passage of a 2012 state law meant to target the demand that fuels the lucrative and often violent commercial sex trade across the United States.

The data – provided to us by the Massachusetts State Police – showed that the gender gap ...

Read more ...

Behind the Story: New Jersey reporter finds inconsistencies in 2008 death investigation

Chris Baxter

Chris Baxter and NJ Advance Media wrestled out a compelling and untold story, let the digital presentation take the lead and came away with a “smashing” investigative success.

Using a system he developed to keep tabs on lawsuits involving state police, Baxter came upon the stifled story of Kenwin Garcia, a Newark man who died in 2008 after an altercation with police along the side of the highway.

Baxter embarked on a deep reporting project that resulted in 7,000 words, an 8-page special print section in The Star-Ledger and a digital presentation as rich as any Baxter ...

Read more ...

Behind the Story: How Chicago Magazine exposed the truth about the city’s crime rates

Chicago Magazine | June 2014

A story that helped change the way Chicagoans digest crime stats started with suspicion.

Immersed in a different crime-related piece, Chicago Magazine Features Editor David Bernstein and Contributing Writer Noah Isackson noticed something amiss with the statistics. When their trusted police sources voiced skepticism, the early trappings of an idea took hold.

In the spring of 2013, fresh off a year of 507 murders in Chicago, the most of any U.S. city, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy started celebrating what the stats showed was a drastic turnaround in the amount of crime ...

Read more ...

NICAR Data Library releases updated DOE campus crime data

The NICAR Database Library has updated the Department of Education's ​Campus Crime data to include the most recent reports on alleged crime, arrests and discipline reported for 2012.  Buy it here.

 

What's in it?

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act is a federal law that requires colleges and universities to disclose certain timely and annual information about campus crime and security policies. All public and private institutions of postsecondary education participating in federal student aid programs under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 are subject to it. The ...

Read more ...

IRE Radio Podcast | Cracking the Crime Stats

Welcome to another episode of the IRE Radio Podcast. On this week’s episode we’re talking about crime – everything from fact-checking police stats to building databases to track gun violence.

Here’s the lineup:

  • Michael Berens of The Seattle Times gets things started with a story about an odd beam of light, some dead rabbits and a police chopper.
  • Debra Juarez, news director at NBC 5 Chicago, talks about the ethics of naming suspects involved in a prostitution sting.
  • Steve Thompson of the Dallas Morning News and Ben Poston of the Los Angeles Times explain how to spot red ...
Read more ...

Watch live: Google Hangout on execution secrecy

Today starting at 12 p.m. CDT we’ll be talking about how to investigate the death penalty and shed light on secrecy surrounding lethal injection practices. To watch the broadcast and submit questions, click here. You can also tweet us questions at @IRE_NICAR using the hashtag #IREHangout.

We’ll be joined by four journalists who have been covering executions: Ziva Branstetter of the Tulsa World, Chris McDaniel of St. Louis Public Radio, Brian Haas of The Tennessean and Della Hasselle, a contributor to The Lens.

After the broadcast, the recording will be posted to our Hangouts page.

Join us Wednesday for a Google Hangout on execution secrecy

Tune in Wednesday at 12 p.m. CDT to discuss coverage of the death penalty and the secrecy surrounding lethal injection procedures. We’ll be joined by four journalists who have been investigating executions:

  • Ziva Branstetter, enterprise editor at the Tulsa World and one of the witnesses to the botched Oklahoma execution of Clayton Lockett. You can follow her coverage of the case here.
  • Chris McDaniel, political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio. McDaniel has been involved in a lawsuit to free up information surrounding lethal injection drugs. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon also recently won IRE’s not-so-coveted Golden Padlock ...
Read more ...

Journalists discuss reporting on wrongful convictions

By Emily Burns

David Krajicek was a reporter at the New York Daily News in 1989 when the Central Park jogger case grabbed the attention of all of New York. Krajicek was assigned to report on the case, and at a panel on the media’s role in reporting in wrongful convictions on Thursday, Krajicek said errors were made in the overall reporting of the case.

Since then, Krajicek has continued to report on criminal justice, and also studies media’s influence and role in wrongful convictions. This past winter, Krajicek looked into three wrongful conviction cases to see what ...

Read more ...