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 "arrests" ...

  • Austin American-Statesman: Is Texas DPS skewing its border security stats - again?

    Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw went before Congress in April and touted nearly 40,000 arrests stemming from the department’s border surge of troopers in the Rio Grande Valley. The American-Statesman has long held DPS accountable when it comes to its border activities, and especially in how it has described the success of those efforts to lawmakers. With this story, we sought to continue in that watchdog role.
  • Racial Arrest Breakdown

    The investigation used jail booking data to track the race and gender of every person charged with “Possession With Intent to Distribute Marijuana” in Greenville County over a period of several years. Then they used court records and law enforcement FOIAs to track the location of each arrest. Finally they used census data to understand the demographic composition of each neighborhood in the county. When they were finished, they’d found that black people were arrested for PWID at a far higher rate than white people, neighborhoods with the most black people saw far more arrests, and the rate of black people charged was disproportionate with the demographics in each area. They further established that black and white people use and sell the drug at similar rates meaning the discrepancy with arrests was due to differences in enforcement policy.
  • Pain pill abuse in Alabama

    Our series explored the pills to heroin pipeline and heroin arrests; the Dr. Feelgoods that prescribe painkillers at alarming rates; the links between pain pills and fatal overdoses; and the inside operations at a national pill mill in Mobile, Alabama. The problem has gotten so bad that federal authorities cracked down on pain doctors in the state as the number of painkiller clinics grew to more than 400.
  • Criminalizing Kids

    With disturbing national data findings, our multiplatform “Criminalizing Kids” report revealed that Virginia leads the nation in sending students into the criminal justice system for misbehavior as insignificant as kicking a trash can—and as trumped up as a 12-year-old accused of obstruction of justice. Our multiple follow stories revealed more examples of how disabled and black students are arrested in disproportionate numbers, and how Virginia’s governor and local cities reacted to our findings by instituting reforms. Our second in-depth investigation, “An Epidemic of Questionable Arrests,” took us in partnership with KQED public radio to San Bernardino, Calif., where harsh policies have led to deputies hogtying and arresting a Down syndrome student; an officer beating a student who hugged his girlfriend; and school police in one medium-sized district arresting more kids annually than municipal cops arrest in some of California’s biggest cities. http://www.publicintegrity.org/2015/04/10/17074/state-state-look-students-referred-law-enforcement
  • Incredible Cops

    This three-part series -- part of WNYC's ongoing NYPD Bruised project -- examined how often NYPD officers lie, what the department does about it and the overall impact on the criminal justice system. WNYC identified more than 120 officers with a documented credibility issue in the past decade. Many stayed on the street where they continued to make arrests. Their word -- in sworn statements -- put people in prison. Defendants often never learn if the officer accusing them of a crime has a history of lying despite a constitutional right to such information. WNYC also found the NYPD and prosecutors have failed to make simple fixes to address the problem. As part of the series, WNYC produced a first-of-its-kind map and chart showing the laws and court precedents governing disclosure of police disciplinary records in all 50 states. http://www.wnyc.org/story/police-misconduct-records/
  • Qatar: The Price of Glory 2015

    The Price of Glory is an HBO Real Sports investigation into Qatar’s plan to achieve international recognition through sport and the price it has exacted in fair play, human rights, and even human lives. Our investigation found that the Qatari sports plan is one of unprecedented ambition and ruthlessness, based on the exploitation of foreign labor on and off the field. To build world-class athletic teams, Qatar has crisscrossed the world, paying athletes from the poorest countries on earth to become naturalized Qatari citizens. Real Sports heard it first hand from an entire team of Bulgarian weightlifters paid by Qatar to assume Arabic identities and represent the Gulf state in international competition. Our story detailed the systemic bribery that allowed this stiflingly hot desert sheikhdom without a soccer tradition to improbably win the right to host the 2022 World Cup. Ten months before a series of arrests of FIFA officials suspected of taking bribes, Real Sports spoke with a former FIFA insider about the corrupt bidding process, and detailed how Qatari officials bought their way to the very top of world soccer by plying FIFA officials on five continents. Off the field, Real Sports documented how Qatar’s sports glory is built on the backs of hundreds of thousands of the poorest people in Asia, imported and indentured to create a lavish World Cup city in the desert. Our team watched workers toil in 117-degree heat and followed them into the decrepit labor camps few outsiders have seen in order to expose the brutal conditions in which they are bonded into effective slavery. Viewers will see why thousands of these migrant workers are projected to die on the job by the time the 2022 World Cup games begin. When we first aired the piece the Qatari government told us changes were coming and that we should stand by. We took them up on their offer and revisited the situation a year later, only to find that none of the changes to the bonded labor system—known as Kafala—had taken place. In fact Nepali migrant workers were even prohibited from returning home after a massive earthquake ravaged their country. Worse still—our follow-up investigation found that some of the top people in Qatari sport weren’t just using their money to buy athletes, they were using it to fund terrorist organizations and invite radical jihadi clerics to speak at their elite sports academy. Our project spanned four years of research, four continents, and scores of interviews with athletes, activists, migrant workers, FIFA insiders, and US government officials.
  • A "sting" buried

    The Philadelphia Inquirer triggered arrests, legislative reforms, ethics investigations, resignations – and political turmoil statewide – after the newspaper revealed that Pennsylvania’s attorney general had secretly shut down an undercover investigation that had caught public officials on tape taking money or gifts. In late 2013, state Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane secretly shut down a sting operation that had captured officials on tape accepting cash from an operative posing as a lobbyist ostensibly seeking political influence and government contracts. Her decision was kept from the public – restricted under court seal – for months until Inquirer reporters Craig R. McCoy and Angela Couloumbis broke the story. Their initial package sparked a statewide furor – and set the stage for months of additional investigative pieces and news developments.
  • Mob Arrests

    Our story involved the Italian mafia, ties to the Gambino crime family, heroin, pineapples, and a late night police run in southern Italy. This story was the result of years of following the FBI’s pursuit of drug traffickers, working sources and building solid relationships with police officials. It is almost unheard of for the FBI to give journalists access to any kind of operations in a foreign country. This was an important breakup of a major international drug ring and due to our exclusive access were able to provide the American people with a rare behind the scenes view of this story.
  • Broken Windows

    “Beyond Broken”: The number of summonses issued each year has soared since broken windows was implemented in the early 1990s — from 160,000 in 1993 to a peak of 648,638 in 2005 — making ticket writing for low-level offenses the single most frequent activity of NYPD officers, far surpassing felony and misdemeanor arrests combined. Roughly 81% of the 7.3 million people hit with summonses between 2001 and 2013 were black and Hispanic. And the top 15 precincts with the highest rate of summonses have a population that is 75% or more black and Hispanic. They spoke to nearly 170 people waiting in line at the city’s three summons courts. Although some admitted guilt, many said they felt targeted by officers looking to write tickets, as if their neighborhood were under “martial law.”
  • In the Background: a KCRA-3 Investigation

    KCRA-3 found that the state of California was clearing people with arrests for child molestation, sex abuse of a minor, elder abuse, arson, even murder to work in daycares, elder care facilities, nursing homes and foster homes. The state would clear people to work who had multiple arrests and then investigate later. Yet those investigations took months, sometimes years to complete. As a result of our investigation the department changed their policy and a new state law was signed that would prevent the department from changing their policy back. No longer are people with arrests for violent crimes simply cleared to work and then checked later.