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 "New Orleans" ...

  • Hard Rock Hotel Collapse

    When an 18-story hotel under construction collapsed catastrophically on a Saturday morning in October, we immediately began trying to understand what went wrong. Initially, this involved sharing video of the collapse with experts to seek opinions about possible causes. In the days and weeks that followed, we spoke with workers who were on the job and reviewed building plans and inspection reports to determine where missteps were made. We also uncovered a video, narrated in Spanish by a worker on the site, that was posted several days before the collapse, in which the worker spotlights a number of alarming flaws in the building.
  • The Verge with The Investigative Fund: Palantir has Secretly Been Using New Orleans to Test Predictive Policing Technology

    For the past 6 years, the data-mining firm Palantir — co-founded by Peter Thiel — has used New Orleans as a testing ground for predictive policing, Ali Winston reported for the Verge, in partnership with The Investigative Fund. Palantir has lucrative contracts with the Pentagon, U.S. intelligence and foreign security services. The partnership with the NOPD was similar to the "heat list" in Chicago that purports to predict which people are likely drivers or victims of violence. Yet, not only did the program not go through a public procurement process, key city council members in New Orleans didn't even know it existed.
  • The Lens: Power Plant Astroturfing

    Lens reporter Michael Isaac Stein confirmed that actors were paid to support Entergy New Orleans' proposed power plant in eastern New Orleans. A city investigation resulted. The company was forced to release thousands of pages of documents about the power plant campaign, which we found was much larger in scope than the so-called "astroturfing" in 2017 and 2018.
  • WDSU Investigates: Parking Ticket Turmoil

    "WDSU Investigates: Parking Ticket Turmoil" is an in-depth six-month investigation into erroneously issued parking tickets by the city of New Orleans. WDSU’s investigation spurred a probe by the city’s Inspector General. In the months following, it was discovered that nearly 7,000 parking citations were improperly issued, potentially costing drivers hundreds of thousands of dollars in false payments.
  • Katrina 10: The New Levees

    Of all the questions asked about New Orleans’ progress 10 years after the disaster that killed nearly 1,500 residents and clouded its future, the most persistent has been this: Is it safer now? Interviews with engineers and storm experts for the "Katrina 10: The New Levees" investigation, by The Weather Channel and The Lens, resulted in answers filled with caveats and concerns. The best summation: It’s safer for houses, but not necessarily for the people who live in them.
  • NOPD: Call Waiting

    It’s one of the most basic – and critical – services provided by any city: Call police in an emergency and get a quick response. But for crime victims in New Orleans, police response times have skyrocketed as the number of cops has diminished. Delays can mean the difference between life and death, between solving a crime and allowing a predator to strike again. WWL-TV and The New Orleans Advocate worked together to analyze almost 3 million calls for service to the New Orleans Police Department over the last five years. The joint analysis found that NOPD response times to 911 calls have tripled since 2010 to an average wait of 79 minutes, saddling New Orleans with some of the longest police response times of any major American city. http://theadvocate.com/news/neworleans/neworleansnews/13838324-125/live-chat-advocate-wwl-tv-experts https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dQ8kuYBNOM&feature=youtu.be http://www.wwltv.com/story/news/local/investigations/2016/01/08/call-waiting-nopd/78503840/
  • Secret Email Account Exposed

    It's a practice that gained national notoriety with reports that presidential candidate Hillary Clinton declined to use her government-issued email for public business -- favoring a personal account while serving as Secretary of State. The WDSU I-Team discovered a similar practice involving the leader of the most populous city in Louisiana. We delved into how many emails the mayor of New Orleans sends, and from what accounts. Investigative reporter Travers Mackel tracked down the mayor and asked him why he used his private email instead of his city-issued one. In this two-part series, we take a closer look at the practice. Days after the reports aired, the mayor renounced the use of his private email account for public business. https://youtu.be/B9b1Kc33Sa4
  • Shots on the Bridge: Police Violence and Cover-Up in the Wake of Katrina

    Six days after Hurricane Katrina’s landfall in New Orleans, New Orleans Police Department officers opened fire on residents crossing the Danziger Bridge. When the shooting stopped, a mentally challenged man and a seventeen-year-old boy were dead, riddled with gunshot wounds. A mother’s arm was shot off, her daughter’s stomach gouged with a bullet hole, and her husband’s head pierced by shrapnel. Her nephew was shot in the neck, jaw, stomach, and hand. All six of the victims, along with two others arrested at the scene, were black and unarmed. Before the blood dried, the shooters and their supervisors had hatched a cover-up. They would plant a gun, invent witnesses, and charge two of their victims with attempted murder. The NOPD hailed all the shooters on the bridge as heroes. Shots on the Bridge explores one of the most dramatic cases of injustice in the last decade. It reveals the fear that gripped the police of a city fallen into anarchy, the circumstances that led desperate survivors to go to the bridge, and the horror that erupted with the gunfire. It dissects the cover-up that nearly buried the truth and the legal maze that, a decade later, leaves the victims still searching for justice.
  • NOPD: Dangerous Delays

    In “Dangerous Delays,” WVUE probes into the New Orleans Police Department dispatch times and the life threatening impact these rapidly increasing waits have had on the citizens of the Crescent City. Our joint investigation with Nola.com/The Times-Picayune was the first to highlight glaring manpower shortages and the first to uncover a department practice that was making violent crimes “disappear” from the books.
  • Inmates making insiders wealthy

    Privately owned and operated work-release programs are a new fad in corrections. Work-release programs tend to reduce recidivism rates and inmates are able to save some money while in prison so they don’t re-enter the real world penniless. Privately run programs, according to proponents, are superior to those run by public entities, because private operators take a percentage of inmate wages and are thus incentivized to find the best possible jobs for inmates. However, as The Advocate’s stories have shown, the private companies that get this work tend to be politically connected, and they don’t have any real incentive to provide quality housing or food or to prevent escapes. They chronicled problems with escapes, drug use and even death at one outfit run by friends of the sheriff of St. Tammany Parish, a New Orleans suburb. That facility was shut down after our reporting (which the sheriff called “reckless”). As another direct result of their investigation, the state secretary of the Department of Corrections announced that in the future, work-release programs would only get contracts after undergoing a competitive process.