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 [email protected] where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "civil rights" ...

  • The Laquan McDonald shooting and the city's broken system

    Under orders from a judge, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration on Nov. 24, haltingly and reluctantly, released a police dash-cam video that showed a white police officer shooting a black teenager, Laquan McDonald. The video roiled Chicago. Protesters took to the streets. The police superintendent was fired. The officer who shot McDonald -- a ward of the state -- was charged with murder. And the U.S. Justice Department launched a civil rights investigation into the nation’s second largest police department. During the next three weeks, Tribune reporters set out to examine how the city and the Chicago Police Department had reached this point, and to put into context McDonald’s life and his fatal encounter with a department with a sordid history of brutality against minorities.
  • Suspect shootings

    After a series of fatal shootings by Philadelphia police that violated department regulations, The Inquirer began closely examining all big-dollar settlements of civil rights lawsuits to determine what went wrong. Reporters found officers persisted in shooting at moving vehicles, often with deadly results. They also uncovered patterns of shoddy investigations by police Internal Affairs investigators and by criminal prosecutors, typically acting with no public accountability.
  • The Death of Linwood Lambert

    MSNBC Chief Legal Correspondent Ari Melber’s exhaustive investigation into the death of a Virginia man in police custody. Linwood "Ray" Lambert died three years ago, after police took him to a local hospital for medical care. But police never brought Lambert inside, instead tasing him repeatedly at the doorway to the hospital, and later inside a squad car. In September, Melber obtained 80 minutes of security camera footage. Melber led a months-long investigation, combing through the video to reconstruct the incident, obtaining previously unreleased police, medical and investigative files, and interviewing dozens of sources. The material gave MSNBC an opportunity to tell the story of that deadly night for the first time. State investigators and local prosecutors provided Melber some of their first public comments on the incident. Melber’s work also spurred outcry from officials and civil rights leaders, including calls for a resolution to the case by Virginia’s governor, and both U.S. Senators from Virginia.
  • Guantanamo’s Child – Omar Khadr

    Guantanamo has always been – and remains today – a story told through rhetoric and partisan politics. There is rarely a human face. There is rarely talk of the civil right violations in times of fear. Omar Khadr’s story is a dark chapter in both U.S. and Canadian history, and Guantanamo’s Child shines the light on these abuses for the first time. It is the story of a 15-year-old Canadian who grew up behind bars. It is his first – and only interview, where he talks about his recollections of the firefight, which kept him detained for 12 years. U.S. Special Forces soldiers also give their accounts of the firefight for the first time in exclusive interviews. The testimonies of former interrogators, detainees and military prosecutors reveal what Khadr endured while jailed. https://ajam.boxcn.net/s/zxe5pqfhioxyztdgyh6s4lmhhh08hy56
  • Shielded

    Most states have sovereign immunity laws that protect public entities from being held liable for the illegal actions of their employees, but there’s a weird quirk in Arizona’s law that prevents people from being able to sue a public entity in civil court if the employee committed a felony. The only exception is if the entity had absolute knowledge of the act ahead of time. It’s a situation of unintended consequences that doesn’t come up very often, but that some in the legal world feel needs to be change — Prominent Phoenix lawyer Mike Manning calls this law “an egregious violation of a citizen’s civil rights.” In my story, a young woman was sexually assaulted by a Phoenix Police Officer, and because he will almost certainly be convicted of a felony, the statute prevents her from being able to sue the Phoenix Police Department.
  • Indian grandfather

    This story happened fast. Pursuing a cryptic police release about an injury to a unidentified man during a traffic stop on Feb. 6, I managed to track down the necessary information to publish a full account on Feb. 10. This first story of a police encounter gone wrong, of the leg sweep and spinal injury to an Indian farmer brought to Alabama days before to care for his grandson, would spiral rapidly into an international incident. I found myself being interviewed on Indian television days later as the story drew global interest. Indian diplomats were dispatched to the man's hospital bed. Two days of intense international pressure led the small department in an affluent, relatively multi-cultural bedroom community to release the video that confirmed this initial report as well as take the unusual step of arresting their own officer. In the following weeks, the governor of Alabama would apologize to the Indian government and the FBI would indict the patrol officer for a civil rights violation, leading to back-to-back hung juries in 2015. I have been covering, off and on, this fascinating look at the collision of citizen rights and attitudes on immigration and police policies ever since.
  • Environmental Justice, Denied

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Civil Rights has one mission: to ensure entities that receive EPA funding do not discriminate against communities straddling industry fencelines. Yet time and again, communities of color living in the shadows of sewage plants, incinerators and landfills have found their claims of harm denied or ignored by the EPA’s civil-rights office, a first-ever analysis by the Center for Public Integrity shows. In its 22-year history, the office has never made a formal finding of a civil-rights violation by regulatory agencies or companies operating in U.S. communities. Since our publication, the agency has worked to revamp this program and promised to track progress.
  • The Whistleblowers

    As many in the news media have turned away from whistleblowers and the inside scandals they can reveal about government and corporations, we produced a series of original reports using brave and credible whistleblowers as primary sources on important topics ranging from civil rights violations to the government’s unprecedented and bizarre treatment of a whistleblower who helped the U.S. recover billions of tax dollars.
  • A Racial Divide in Texas

    An analysis by students in UT-Austin's Spring 2015 investigative reporting class found that licensed peace officers in Texas are disproportionately white. In many communities, the face of law enforcement doesn’t look much different than it did before the Civil Rights Movement. In hundreds of cities, counties and towns across the state, white officers still dominate the ranks, even in communities where whites are the minority.
  • Understaffed and Underserved

    "Understaffed and Underserved: A Look Inside America’s Nursing Homes" exposed staffing discrepancies, racial disparities and billions of dollars in questionable HUD-backed mortgages granted to facilities across the country, revealing the intersection of nursing home companies’ profit-driven practices with weak governmental oversight that all too often leads to devastating, and even fatal, consequences for some of the nation’s most vulnerable citizens. The project generated widespread media pickup, resulted in the filing of federal legislation, the GAO saying it would investigate the five-star rating system and contributed to federal policy change by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Advocates throughout the nation used data from the project to advocate for legislative change, while a law professor had her students do field testing for a potential civil rights law suit and plans to request HUD Secretary Julian Castro to initiate a complaint against a Chicago-area nursing home chain.