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 "Latino" ...

  • Driving with suspended license top crime in Menlo Park, many lose cars

    The story shows that the majority of drivers cited for driving with a suspended license in Menlo Park, California are Latino or African American. Most of these citations resulted in the driver's vehicle being impounded for the statutory 30 day period. Many of the drivers affected had their licenses suspended not because of safety concerns such as DUIs, but because of other reasons, such as not paying for two minor traffic tickets and failing to show up in court. More than half of the drivers, according to towers, never retrieve their cars from impound lots, which is very likely due to the steep cost of retrieving the vehicles, which sometimes is worth more than the car. The story explores whether the punishment of losing a car fits the original violation.
  • Awash in Risk

    In the shadow of the American petrochemical industry, hundreds of workers perform a crucial, dangerous and utterly invisible task. They physically climb inside tanker trucks and rail tank cars and chemical barges to clean them out. The men, nearly all black and Latino, come in direct contact with fiercely corrosive chemical leftovers and fumes, often working with scrapers and razor blades to get every square inch of the insides clean. Some say they do so without so much as a mask. Many have died. Generating data from scratch, frequenting truck stops, knocking on doors and collecting obscure business sources, the Houston Chronicle provides a first instance look at this previously unknown industry, cross referencing every found workplace with OSHA records to paint a picture of a labor that has passed mostly under the radar.
  • Losing Ground

    By some of the most important measures of social progress, the largest minority populations in Colorado, Latinos and blacks, are falling further behind their white counterparts. In an analysis of six decades of data pertaining to family income, home ownership, poverty, high school and college graduation, as well as comparative health and justice figures, I-News determined that Colorado was a more equitable state than most during the era of the Civil Rights Movement, but is less so now. These findings do not bode well for a state in which minorities are the fastest rising population, and, within two decades, likely the majority of the work force.
  • New Haven Police Brutality Investigation

    Members of New Haven’s Latino community approached NBC Connecticut with complaints about Officer Dennis O’Connell with the New Haven Police Department. Several people told us that they were being targeted by the officer, and when they encountered him, they were subjected to brutality which included beatings, verbal abuse, and in one case that we found what appeared to be repeated and potentially unnecessary use of a taser. We spoke with several of the alleged victims as a starting point for our story. From there, we embarked on a series of FOI requests that resulted in hundreds of pages of documents ranging from police reports of the alleged incidents to court settlements between the city of New Haven and alleged victims of Officer O’Connell. We spoke to an expert in criminal justice who, after reading through the police reports and reviewing Officer O’Connell’s file, determined there was a definitive and disturbing pattern. He also determined that based on the lack of disciplinary measures and retraining of the officer, NHPD was ignoring a significant problem within their ranks.
  • A Tale of Two Neighborhoods

    This series of investigative articles examines increasing racial segregation in student neighborhoods surrounding the University of Texas at Austin. Caused by new land zoning in housing communities near campus, rent costs have been on the rise in neighborhoods near the University at the same time that increasing numbers of low-income students of color have been admitted to the University under new admissions policies. With racial tension rising, the result has been a high density of white and Asian students in expensive neighborhoods near campus, and a high density of black and Latino students in other parts of the city who must travel by bus to reach school.
  • Escondido Police Under Fire

    Escondido, California, has a long history of discriminating against its large Latino population. For years the City Council had tried and failed to enact legislation that would make it difficult for Spanish-speaking immigrants, documented or otherwise, to take up residence there. But “Escondido Police Under Fire” uncovers how, in 2004, local legislators along with the Escondido Police Department found an ingenious way to rid the city of undocumented immigrants — and make a profit. In 2004, Congress gave the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration funds to encourage states to get drunk drivers off the road. Escondido some of these funds and began one of the most rigorous Driving Under the Influence checkpoint programs in the State of California. The taxpayer funds allowed Escondido police to set up sobriety checkpoints several times a month. The stated goal was to catch inebriated drivers and to raise public awareness about the dangers of drunk driving. But Escondido police quickly discovered that they could make money by impounding the vehicles of unlicensed drivers. At the time, in California, if someone was caught driving without a license, their vehicle could be seized and subjected to a 30-day impound. In Escondido, the fees to retrieve the impounded vehicle were exorbitant. Escondido police began systematically asking every driver who came through a sobriety checkpoint to show a driver’s license. Escondido Police, the investigation reveals, soon brokered an agreement with Immigration Customs Enforcement to run background checks on all unlicensed drivers at the sobriety checkpoints to ascertain whether they were legally in the country. If a perfectly sober undocumented immigrant drove up to a sobriety checkpoint and could not produce a driver’s license — even though the checkpoints were being funded to get drunk drivers off the road — the unlicensed driver’s car would be impounded, ICE would run a background check, and the driver would be deported. Quickly, these federally funded sobriety checkpoints had become de facto immigration checkpoints — at an enormous profit to the Escondido police. From 2008 to 2011 the city of Escondido and tow companies with city contracts pulled in $11 million in fees, citations and auctioned vehicles from checkpoints. And hundreds of drivers were subsequently deported.
  • Fair Housing in America

    ProPublica reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones looked at how and why the Dept. of Housing & Urban Development has failed to enforce the Fair Housing Act. She traced the nation’s history of housing discrimination, from the Great Migration of African Americans to Northern cities in the early 1900’s to the post-World War II boom and into the 1960’s. Again and again, her reporting showed, federal agencies played a pivotal role in keeping white and black Americans separate. While the law required localities to “affirmatively further’’ fair housing, neither Democratic nor Republican presidents had the political will to enforce it. Over time, courts interpreted that provision to mean that HUD could withhold billions of dollars in grants from communities that were not doing everything possible to end segregation. Yet officials charged with enforcing the fair housing law told Hannah-Jones they were often ignored or undercut by others inside HUD, who saw the agency’s main mission as distributing development dollars. Even when courts issued rulings insisting that communities honor the law’s intentions, as she notes in a case about Westchester County, New York, they were routinely ignored by HUD officials and local politicians alike. Hannah-Jones also looked at how little HUD does to root out or punish racial steering and overt discrimination in the sale and rental of property. Millions of Latinos and African Americans face such bias each year. Yet HUD hardly ever does the sort of undercover testing proven to catch landlords and real estate agents in the act.
  • White Mayor's Burden

    In the summer of 2011, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced he was starting the Young Man's Initiative, a multi-million dollar public-private partnership to "help" young black and Latino male New Yorkers. What he neglected to mention in the rollout was that under his tenure, New York City has arrested record numbers of black and Latino young men using the controversial "stop and frisk" technique, has suspended record numbers of black and Latino men from schools, and has actively fought a federal lawsuit to make the Fire Department comply with the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • Alleged Illegal Searches & Unlawful Marijuana Arrests by NYPD

    The story takes a look into the NYPD's "stop and frisk" policy. The "stop and frisks" are street encounters carried out almost exclusively blacks and Latinos in the city's poorest neighborhoods. The investigation shows that NYPD is likely making false arrests for marijuana possession after recovering marijuana through illegal searches during "stop and frisks."
  • San Jose police: Misdemeanor Justice

    The San Jose police are the most aggressive city in California when it comes to misdemeanor crimes and the arrests. They have the largest per capita of arrests in the state and many of these arrests are for petty crimes or resisting arrest where no crime was actually involved. Many of these crimes involve the attitude of those being arrested, public intoxication without proper tests, and disturbing the peace. A number of these arrests are based on color and a great deal of force was used in these arrests.