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 rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "Houston police" ...

  • Transparency

    A four-month KHOU investigation reveals how Houston’s $8 million police body camera program is falling short of its promises. Police and politicos touted it as the blueprint for transparency and accountability, but six months into the program, KHOU discovered that “transparency” has become more of a city hall buzzword than benchmark for the truth. The Houston Police Department violates its own policies. The public can’t readily access video footage. And officers don’t always press the record button when it counts. https://youtu.be/7qbf_rgt__s http://www.khou.com/local/investigative/bodycamtransparency
  • Ticket-Rigging Traffic Enforcement

    The KHOU I-Team discovered how a group of officers in Houston Police Department’s elite Traffic Enforcement Division listed each other on speeding tickets when they were never there--all to later collect more overtime when they appeared in court. In case after case, records showed an officer was writing a ticket at one location, but at the exact same time on the exact same day, he was listed as a “witnessing officer” on a ticket at a completely different location, miles away. One of the targets of the ticket-rigging scheme committed suicide after learning he was under investigation by the Houston Police Internal Affairs Division. The Houston City Prosecutor's office dismissed more than six thousand tickets by the officers in question "in the interest of justice."
  • The Shield

    The Shield is a two-part feature about officer misconduct and a lack of accountability in the Houston police department. Part one, "Crimes Unpunished," shows how a lax and labyrinthine discipline system keeps negligent cops on the street. Part two, "The Horror Every Day," focuses on police beatings and shootings in Houston and the rarity with which they're punished. Both sections combine extensive data analysis with detailed victim and police interviews. After publication, local and national media picked up the story and pressure on the department to reform continues to grow.
  • Crossing the Line

    "We're coming after you." That was the Houston Police Chief's message to thieves when he launched the elite, $5 million a year Crime Reduction Unit. The problem? Some of the department's own officers alleged "we're coming after you" meant violating citizens' rights and search and seizure laws to build flimsy cases and rack up arrest numbers that ultimately did little to fight crime. KHOU-TV identified how CRU officers routinely stopped, handcuffed and interrogated citizens for petty infractions such as jaywalking or riding a bicycle without a light. The vast majority of the time these citizens were let go, but if police did make an arrest, it was usually for trace levels of drugs, which often resulted in plea bargain prosecutions for minimal jail sentences. One veteran defense attorney described the CRU as nothing more than "a mill to get convictions."
  • Blurring the Badge

    KTRK investigated the Houston Police Commanders and police officers. They found that 42 police officers, including three captains, were guilty of falsification of records and apparent misuse of government equipment.
  • Worth the Gamble

    KHOU investigates the seemingly "laissez-faire" attitude of the Houston Police Department towards illegal gambling halls that appear sometimes right next door to police centers. These "eight-liner" gambling rooms drag the neighborhoods down into illegal violence with them and when police do show up, they issue small citations instead of addressing the illegal gambling problem at hand.
  • Missing Crime

    This investigation found that Houston police often don't label crimes as crimes. This means that many crimes never end with a criminal investigation. Not only does this practice mean victims often don't receive any closure, but also that Houston has fewer crime statistics to report to the national government. These low numbers are misleading and make Houston look much safer than it really is.
  • Blurring The Badge

    This investigative series exposes how Houston's uniform lawmen break the very laws they are meant to uphold. These are the lawmen working at nightclubs to maintain order but are captured by KTRK's hidden cameras as they fail to assist or even back up State alcohol agents as they raid the clubs. Such inactivity of these lawmen is the prime focus of the story.
  • Gaps tarnish data on profiling

    The Houston Chronicle computer analysis "shows that after nearly 20 months, the data collected by the state's largest police force may be seriously flawed. " Houston police are supposed to record all stops they make into a racial profiling database, but it was found that thousands of stops weren't entered and and other records were filled out incompletely or incorrectly.
  • Evidence of Errors

    KHOU-TV found that the Houston Police Department crime lab was making egregious mistakes, that had put innocent people in prison and the guilty free or undetected. As a result of this investigation, all DNA testing at the lab was stopped and more than 600 cases are being reexamined.