Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or [email protected] where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "Chicago" ...

  • Alternative schools bear the brunt of student deaths in Chicago

    This investigative story shines a light on why Chicago students who’ve died are most likely to attend an alternative school and the lack of resources these schools have historically been provided by Chicago Public Schools to help students cope with the deaths of their classmates and other traumas. While many stories have focused on how Chicago’s gun violence hurts children and teens, this story used never-before-published data and more than 50 interviews to examine how gun violence is impacting the education of some of the city’s most vulnerable students. Public alternative high schools are often considered schools of “last resort” that take in children who’ve had discipline, attendance and academic issues in their prior schools. It’s often where students with gang affiliations and safety concerns are sent. And it’s where students are most likely to die.
  • Shoot to Kill

    With no dependable, uniform data on gun violence, it’s impossible to get even a simple tally of the number of shootings in the United States. So Baltimore Sun reporter George and Marquette University students, as part of the O’Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism, spent months trying to understand how many people are shot and how often they survive. What they found is that the odds of survival for gunshot victims were getting worse in at least 10 of the nation’s largest cities, including Baltimore, New York and Chicago.
  • Settling for Misconduct

    The City of Chicago spent more than $210 million for police misconduct lawsuits from 2012 to 2015, according to a Chicago Reporter analysis. The Police Department exceeded its annual budget for lawsuits by almost $50 million, on average, in each of those years. Yet, unlike some other major cities, Chicago doesn’t analyze the lawsuits for trends, identify the officers most frequently sued, or determine ways to reduce both the cost of the cases and officer misconduct. Rather than rein in the practices that lead to these settlements, officials have borrowed millions to pay for police lawsuits, adding to the city’s crippling debt.
  • Deadly Pursuit | Persecuciones Mortales

    In a two-month investigation, NBC5 Investigates and Telemundo Chicago teamed up to examine every police-pursuit-related crash in the Chicago area in recent years. https://vimeo.com/199399471 https://vimeo.com/199397917
  • Chicago does little to control police misconduct - or its costs

    The City of Chicago spent more than $210 million for police misconduct lawsuits from 2012 to 2015, according to a Chicago Reporter analysis. The Police Department exceeded its annual budget for lawsuits by almost $50 million, on average, in each of those years. Yet, unlike some other major cities, Chicago doesn’t analyze the lawsuits for trends, identify the officers most frequently sued, or determine ways to reduce both the cost of the cases and officer misconduct. Rather than rein in the practices that lead to these settlements, officials have borrowed millions to pay for police lawsuits, adding to the city’s crippling debt.
  • The Impact After the CHA Plan for Transformation

    Data from U.S. Housing & Urban Development, the Chicago Housing Authority and the U.S. Census Bureau was analyzed by census tract in the city of Chicago and by municipality in the six-county suburban area for the years 2000 and 2015. In 1999, Mayor Richard M. Daley boldly promised to transform public housing in Chicago — in part by tearing down the high-rise housing projects that lined the city’s expressways and surrounded the Loop. Today, nearly every Chicago neighborhood — and almost every suburb — has felt the impact of the Chicago Housing Authority’s “Plan for Transformation,” a Better Government Association and Chicago Sun-Times analysis has found. https://cst.carto.com/viz/2a5170a2-2ec4-11e6-93e7-0ecd1babdde5/public_map https://cst.carto.com/viz/c1072cca-3438-11e6-bce7-0e31c9be1b51/public_map
  • The Color of Debt

    The heart of our main story was a first-of-its-kind analysis of debt collection lawsuits. Crunching data from five years of court judgments from three metropolitan areas — St. Louis, Chicago and Newark — we found that, even controlling for income, the rate of judgments was twice as high in mostly black neighborhoods as it was in mostly white ones. This finding was drawn out through in-depth reporting on the ground in St. Louis. We focused on one neighborhood, Jennings, a mostly black suburb that borders Ferguson in north St. Louis County, to illustrate the impact.
  • A False Diamond: Reverse Mortgage Series Leads to Statewide Reform

    This series exposed the reverse mortgage/home repair scam Chicago businessman Mark Diamond had perpetrated for decades against elderly black homeowners on the city’s South and West Sides. The project also revealed the civil justice system’s toothlessness and raised pointed questions about how much havoc one person can wreak in the civil sphere before facing any criminal consequences. The project sparked a hearing by a state senator, media pickup, the filing and passage of state legislation and community action.
  • The Laquan McDonald shooting and the city's broken system

    Under orders from a judge, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration on Nov. 24, haltingly and reluctantly, released a police dash-cam video that showed a white police officer shooting a black teenager, Laquan McDonald. The video roiled Chicago. Protesters took to the streets. The police superintendent was fired. The officer who shot McDonald -- a ward of the state -- was charged with murder. And the U.S. Justice Department launched a civil rights investigation into the nation’s second largest police department. During the next three weeks, Tribune reporters set out to examine how the city and the Chicago Police Department had reached this point, and to put into context McDonald’s life and his fatal encounter with a department with a sordid history of brutality against minorities.
  • The LaQuan McDonald Investigation

    An investigation into a police shooting of a 17-year old. Our investigation uncovered the following: allegations that police failed to properly interview witnesses; a claim that Chicago police on the scene that night erased 86-minutes of video from surveillance cameras at a nearby Burger King; that none of the police cars on the scene recorded audio and only two of the original five squad cars recorded video; that failure to record audio was in violation of a special police order; that none of the cars on the scene reported any dash cam malfunctions; that police reports were in direct contradiction to what was seen on the video; that city emails showed top aides to the Mayor were corresponding about the video months before the Mayor claimed he was told in detail what happened. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vH9t8LPofrM&feature=youtu.be