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 Kindness of Strangers: Inside Elder Guardianship in Florida

    With an estimated 50 percent of Americans 85 and older experiencing cognitive impairment, the longevity boom has generated an increase in the number of elders who are deemed too frail or mentally compromised to handle their affairs. Most states, including Florida, have cobbled together an efficient way to identify and care for helpless elders, using the probate court system to place them under guardianship. But critics say this system – easily set in motion, notoriously difficult to stop – often ignores basic civil rights. They describe a ruthless determination to take elders from their homes and make them conform to a process by which their belongings can be sold, and their family and friends shut out—until eventually they are locked away in institutions to decline and die. The critics call this process “liquidate, isolate, medicate.” Through case studies, examining court documents and talking to those working for elder justice reform, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune found consistent patterns of a lack of due process, an unwillingness to inform and involve family members, a one-size-fits-all approach to elders with diverse levels of capacity, substandard care for wards who lack assets, and high legal and professional fees for wards who have considerable assets. Fundamentally, the system treats elders as second-class citizens, before stripping them of citizenship altogether and rendering them as non-persons.
  • NAACP President / Phantom Nonprofit

    In late 2013, members of the Philadelphia NAACP began to question how that group’s finances had been handled by its president, Jerome Whyatt Mondesire. Eventually, more than twenty members of the group, including most of its executive committee, co-wrote a letter to Mondesire asking for answers to 22 questions about the group’s finances, especially why funds meant for the group appeared to have passed through another nonprofit organization, apparently run by Mondesire himself. AxisPhilly obtained that letter and, on January 21, 2014 first published it. An AxisPhilly investigation began to look into what the answers to them were. Over the course of 2014, they published six stories detailing the convoluted and troubling connections between the local NAACP branch’s finances and the Next Generation CDC, a separate (and legally-defunct) nonprofit controlled by NAACP president Jerome Whyatt Mondesire. That nonprofit, they discovered, had acquired property, donations, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in the name of the storied civil rights organization, apparently without the knowledge of its members and for uses that were not only unrelated to the storied civil rights group but appear to have been made up or which benefited Mondesire personally.
  • State of Confusion

    Reporters Perla Trevizo and Carli Brosseau collected thousands of records documenting local law enforcement calls to Border Patrol to check a person’s immigration status. Their conclusion: Although the intent of Arizona's toughest-in-the-nation immigration law was to standarize local immigration enforcement, more than a year after its most controversial provision took effect, the state is left with a patchwork of policies and interpretations across jurisdictions. Data collection is so inconsistent and so incomplete that there’s no way to determine how police are implementing the law — or whether they are committing the systemic civil-rights violations opponents feared when SB 1070 was passed.
  • Policing for Profit

    This one-hour, primetime documentary was the culmination of a four-year investigation that revealed a secret that many Tennessee law enforcement agencies never told the public: that they had become more concerned with profiting from the illegal drug trade than stopping it and that they were routinely violating the civil rights of innocent Americans. That investigation exposed unethical police practices that allowed law enforcement officers to take cash from individuals without charging them with a crime. It helped fuel a national conversation about civil forfeiture laws that make those practices legal and led to reforms in Tennessee and across the country.
  • Where Have All the Lawyers Gone?

    “Where Have All the Lawyers Gone?” identifies the shortage of affordable and pro bono legal services in Santa Barbara County and the impact that shortage has on society’s most vulnerable segments such as the homeless and working poor, especially in dealing with civil rights abuses, law enforcement issues, domestic violence, evictions and other legal issues that compound into bigger problems without accessible legal help. The story found that only about one-third of the legal needs of the county’s poor (14 percent of the county’s population lives under the poverty line) were being met. Although the California State Bar recommends that firms provide 50 hours of pro bono work a year, lawyers in the area admitted “there’s never been a culture of pro bono” in the area, and the firms that do participate are more likely to work with non-profits than poor individuals. An investigation revealed a glaring deficit in pro bono and affordable legal care in a town with more than its fair share of nonprofits and foundations dedicated to social issue
  • Losing Ground

    By some of the most important measures of social progress, the largest minority populations in Colorado, Latinos and blacks, are falling further behind their white counterparts. In an analysis of six decades of data pertaining to family income, home ownership, poverty, high school and college graduation, as well as comparative health and justice figures, I-News determined that Colorado was a more equitable state than most during the era of the Civil Rights Movement, but is less so now. These findings do not bode well for a state in which minorities are the fastest rising population, and, within two decades, likely the majority of the work force.
  • Living Apart: Fair Housing in America

    The series documents 45 years of neglect of one of the most sweeping civil rights laws in our country’s history. The investigation found that the federal government made a decision almost immediately after the passage of the 1968 Fair Housing Act not to enforce the key provisions of the law, including the mandate to promote residential integration. The stories and maps reveal how politics hobbled the reach of the law, severely limiting both the resources and the will of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to use its vast powers to force communities to undue decades of government-sanctioned segregation. It showed how HUD has from its roots been an agency conflicted about enforcing the law and how those charged with enforcement are undertrained and often maligned within the agency. As a result of the law’s neglect by a succession of Republican and Democratic Administrations, our investigation found that segregation patterns in the cities with the largest proportion of black residents have barely budged.
  • White Mayor's Burden

    In the summer of 2011, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced he was starting the Young Man's Initiative, a multi-million dollar public-private partnership to "help" young black and Latino male New Yorkers. What he neglected to mention in the rollout was that under his tenure, New York City has arrested record numbers of black and Latino young men using the controversial "stop and frisk" technique, has suspended record numbers of black and Latino men from schools, and has actively fought a federal lawsuit to make the Fire Department comply with the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • What Happened to Edie?

    Edwina King's death was ruled a suicide by the very law enforcement agents she was investigating, regarding allegations that women in the Delaware County Jail were being raped and sexually abused. Edwina went missing the very day she was supposed to meet a Tulsa attorney to discuss a possible civil rights lawsuit on behalf of female inmates. Two weeks later, her body was found hanged in a horse tack barn on her own property, not more than 200 miles from her trailer home.
  • 60 Minutes: The Murder of Louis Allen

    An examination of the decades-old, civil rights-related murder of an unsung American hero, Louis Allen, in the Deep South.