Stories

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

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Search results for "Tasers" ...

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Taser Test

    No authorities properly tested Tasers in Canada, so CBC/Radio-Canada undertook what became the largest independent testing of Tasers ever. National Technical Services tested the Tasers and found more than 10 percent of the those tested were either defective or significantly off specifications.
  • RCMP Tasers

    The series investigated the extent to which the Royal Canadian Mounted Police had multiply zapped suspects with Tasers during an increasing number of stun gun firings. The team built and analyzed a database from documents describing more than 4,000 incidents.
  • Putting Tasers to the Test

    CBC obtained more than 4,000 Taser-use reports from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), created a database to analyze data and found that the RCMP's taser use was on the rise. The stories highlighted the recurrence of similar themes: abuse of force; a weapon increasingly used on vulnerable people; a pattern of multiple firings of the stun gun on a suspect when police regulations call for minimal use; and Canada's national police force, the largest in Canada, bent on suppressing data detailing how its officers use the weapons.
  • Police relying on Taser as a fix-all on the force

    Stettler investigates the use of Tasers by police and whether the weapon is truly safe or if it threatens the lives of people on which it is used. Two deaths were linked to Tasers over the past three years in Utah's largest law enforcement agencies.
  • Aftershock: Death by Electrocution

    "Tasers have been highly controversial less-than-lethal (usually) weapons since law enforcement first began to embrace them less than a decade ago. This analysis and reassessment of the device concluded that, when used properly, the Taser has saved untold lives and reduced the frequency of serious injuries suffered by both law enforcement personnel and the general public. However when employed improperly, the weapon can prove to be as lethal as a service revolver."
  • In deputy-involved fatal shootings, Riverside County tops LA County

    "Riverside County sheriff's deputies may fire their duty weapons less than their LA County counterparts, but they killed more people in 2006." Bjelland created and analyzed a database on police shootings and a story on the effectiveness of purchasing Tasers.