Stories

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

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Search results for "Taser" ...

  • DFP: Trooper tases teen on ATV. Police video reveals what happens next

    Readers had known about the tragic death of 15-year-old Damon Grimes, who crashed his ATV while running from State Police in Detroit. People knew a trooper had been charged with murder after leaning out of his patrol car to use his Taser on Grimes, causing the crash. But the details were limited. That’s until the Free Press used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain documents, raw video and radio broadcasts to reconstruct the scene before, during and after the accident. In a published story and never-before-seen video, the newspaper shined a spotlight on the actions of police that day. The video was made by piecing together hours of video and audio footage from police body cameras, dashboard cameras, surveillance tape and broadcasts. A Detroit officer whose inappropriate comments were caught on the video was reassigned.
  • Shocking Force

    This first-ever data analysis of police use of Tasers revealed that departments across Maryland predominantly used the devices against suspects who, by their own assessment, posed no immediate threat, and showed that officers didn’t follow widely accepted safety recommendations, shocking people for longer than what’s recommended and firing at the chest despite warnings it could cause cardiac arrest.
  • Shock & Awe: Miami Cops Misuse Tasers, With Deadly Results

    This article exposes Taser abuse by police officers in Miami, Florida. On August 6, 2013, Miami Beach Police fatally tasered 18-year-old Israel Hernandez after catching him spray-painting graffiti on an abandoned McDonald's. Miami New Times reporter Michael E. Miller broke the story, and then followed it up with a dozen other articles on Hernandez's case. Miller compiled thousands of pages of records that showed local officers were overusing and misusing these devices, resulting in injuries and – in some cases – even death. His reporting showed cops often ignored their own departments' procedures on Taser use, yet were never held accountable.
  • The abuse of Tasers in law enforcement

    A Necessary Shock? is a groundbreaking multi-media exposé of how 265 Iowa law enforcement agencies have quietly adopted the use of powerful electrical weapons commonly known as Tasers without establishment of required training or ethical standards to safeguard against abuse. The investigation told the stories of 11 different cases: One where a mentally disabled woman was tased four times in an effort to force her to change her clothing; two people who died in 2013 and eight who filed lawsuits alleging Iowa law enforcement officers used excessive force with the devices. Notable in this investigation is the collection and publication of videos in six of the cases. This evidence -- one showing an officer tasing a man who was already on his knees with his hands behind his head -- was made possible through relatively new lapel camera technology worn by some officers. Additionally, some Tasers themselves now have cameras, which were additionally collected through public record requests and published in this series.
  • Deadly Patrols

    In spring 2012, a cellphone video surfaced of a man being savagely tasered and beaten to death by a group of Border Patrol agents in San Ysidro, California, in 2010. As the video made the rounds -- through YouTube, media broadcasts and finally to members of congress -- outrage mounted. Justice for Anastasio, people demanded. A few months later, a grand jury was convened, and 14 lawmakers including two U.S. representatives from San Diego sent a letter to the Department of Justice. As Rojas’ story gained traction, we questioned: Who else is out there with a similar story? We found 14 other boys and men who have died as a result of violent altercations with Border Patrol agents. Some incidents were also caught on video. Many were not. That was the start of Deadly Patrols.
  • 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.
  • Need to Know: Crossing the Line at the Border Parts 1 & 2

    Few, if any, pieces published or broadcast in 2012 had as much impact as “Crossing the Line at the Border,” a joint project of the weekly PBS newsmagazine, “Need to Know,” and the Nation Institute that was in the best tradition of American investigative journalism. Within days of its broadcast, 16 members of Congress demanded that the U.S. Justice Department investigate the killing of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, a 42-year-old Mexican whose death at the hands of U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents was detailed in our report. A few months later, a U.S. attorney in convened a federal grand jury. It is currently considering criminal charges in the case. And months after that, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said the incident had prompted it to launch a full-scale review of its use of force. Hernandez Rojas had a fatal heart attack shortly after being subdued by agents, beaten, and shot with a Taser gun at the San Ysidro border crossing on May 28th, 2010. His death was largely ignored until the "Need to Know” team, in partnership with the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute, unearthed never-before-seen eyewitness video of the incident.
  • Jailhouse Shock

    A rural Illinois jail faces allegations of Taser use from detainees who say they were tortured with them. The investigation found that at this jail, Taser use goes extremely unreported. Those that did report their Taser use admitted to using the Tasers when detainees were restrained by handcuffs or strapped into a chair.
  • ICE quietly relaxes ban on using stun gun on jailed detainees

    MPR "brought to light the troubling story of an immigrant detainee shot in the testicle with a Taser gun while in custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in a Minnesota jail. They further revealed ICE retroactively changed its ban on jails using stung guns against ICE detainees due to pressure from local law enforcement. ICE continued to send hundreds of detainees to jails rated "deficient" and quietly reversed the failing grades."
  • The Versed Protocol

    An emergency protocol in Nashville to use injections of a powerful tranquilizer, called Versed, does not require patient consent to be administered to restrain the person during "excited delirium."