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" ...

  • Swing Districts Favored Over Minority Areas

    Chicago Reporter looks at how "$780 million was doled out of Illinois over the past two years." The money was portion of the $12-billion Illinois Fund for Infrastructure, Roads, Schools and Transportation (FIRST), the story reveals. The millions were given to political party leaders to spend on projects aimed to boost legislators in politically vulnerable districts. Lawmakers in white districts received more than those in black and Latino districts, the publication reports. A major finding is that, at the time when Illinois entered a fiscal crisis, the "decisions about who got the money and for what projects were settled behind closed doors, without public oversight."
  • You're in the Hole: A Crackdown on Dissident Prisoners

    A Progressive investigation reveals that "in the hours following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, dissident prisoners were singled out from the general population and take to secure housing units." Some of the isolated inmates were denied access to counsel; their lawyers were denied phone conversations and personal visits with their clients. Cusac finds that most of the segregated prisoners happened to be peace-activists or left-wing. Without any public comment, six weeks after Sept. 11 the Justice Department implemented an interim rule that justified the infringement on the detainees' human rights, and explained the new policy with intelligence and law enforcement concerns.
  • Murder or Suicide?

    CBS 60 Minutes shadows "the most extensive foreign murder investigation in FBI history" - the death of Father John Kaiser, an American Catholic Priest in Kenya. While the FBI final conclusion was that Kaiser killed himself, several members of Congress believed he was murdered. CBS reported on "a strong potential motive for killing - that the priest was helping several young women sue a powerful Kenyan cabinet minister for rape." The priest also documented severe ethnic clashes in Kenya, and developed evidence that the brutal regime of President Daniel arap Moi was behind the violence. The reporters expose sloppy detective work on the case.
  • Miami Cops

    A Miami Daily Business Review two-year investigation into police criminality reveals "a deadly scandal at the Miami Police Department." The stories document "flaws and bias in the local system used to investigate police shootings." The series started in 2000 with investigation of the death of a 72-year old widower who was machine-gunned by police during a ferocious 1996 drug raid, and of the following $2.5-million settlement of the lawsuit brought by the victim's family. In a federal investigation, Miami officers involved in the shooting were later accused of "conspiracy, lying and fabricating evidence to cover up misconduct," the Review reports. The series also examines "Miami's costly litigation experience over the last decade defending claims of brutality and lawlessness by police."
  • Rollback: A Corporate Feeding Frenzy During Bush's Honeymoon

    A Multinational Monitor investigative packet looks at the first hundred days for the George W. Bush administration, and finds that the cabinet has "aggressively carried forward the corporate agenda." The stories within the packet focus on the negative consequences to the environment, workers, public health, consumers, civil rights, mining, etc., resulting from the suspension or rescinding of important regulations. One of the articles sheds light on the new bankruptcy rules that favor the automobile industry and finance companies, while diminishing the chance of financially devastated low-income families to resume "lives as productive members of their community." A separate piece reveals the background and the corporate connections of vice-[president Dick Cheney. The packet includes profiles of the members of Bush's "corporate cabinet," and dissects some possible motives that might have inspired their actions in the first 100 days. The profiled officials are: Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, EPA Administrator Christine Whitman, Veteran Affairs Secretary Anthony J. Principi, Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton, Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans, Treasury Secretary Paul H. O'Neill, Attorney General John Ashcroft, Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham, Secretary of Education Rod Paige, Director Office of Management and Budget Mitch Daniels, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick, Secretary of Transportation Norm Minetta, Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson, Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman, National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice, Secretary of State Colin Powell.
  • How public is losing legal rights

    San Francisco Chronicle investigates the loss of civil rights, resulting from mandatory arbitration imposed on employees. Many workers sign their employment contracts without reading the text in fine print, which binds them to accept the arbitration clause, the story reveals. Under the court rulings, arbitrators can be "wholly unqualified" to decide civil right cases, and "are rarely required to follow the law." Other flaws of the system include prohibitive filing fees, limited size of awards, and reluctance by most arbitration firms to enforce ethics codes.
  • Public Servants or Profiteers?

    Insight investigates the practice of former members of Congress turning into lobbyists. Many lawmakers quit the job for which they have been elected, and join special-interest law and lobbying firms, the story reveals. Some take with them not only knowledge, experience and privileged access to decision-maker, but also treasures of congressional documents. Event though former congressmen are banned from lobbying for one year after they formally leave the Capitol Hill, there are many loopholes in this ban, the Insight finds. The reported controversies are exemplified with the cases of Norman Mineta, a California Democrat, Bill Gradison, an Ohio Republican, Bob Michel, an Illinois Republican, former House Speaker Tom Foley, a Washington Democrat, Alex McMillan, a North Carolina Republican, William Ford, a Michigan Democrat, and J. Roy Rowland, a Georgia Democrat, and many others.
  • DWB* (*Driving While Black)

    Esquire reports on the DEA's program Operation Pipeline, an attempt to stop interstate drug trafficking that has come under file for encouraging, if not sponsoring, racial profiling. Despite numerous civil rights law suits and statistics that show an overwhelming majority of the motorists pulled over are black and Hispanic, the DEA still calls the program one of its "most successful." The Supreme Court basically handed law enforcement a license to do these kind of searches when it ruled that a cop can pull someone over for any minor traffic violation. U.S. District Judge James Carrigan wrote a criticism of the program which said, the task force, "systematically violated the constitutionally protected rights of blacks and Hispanics to travel and be free from unreasonable seizures."
  • In Black and White: Old Memos Lay Bare Metlife's Use of Race to Screen Customers

    The Wall Street Journal looks at the practice of MetLife, "the largest publicly held life insurer", to systematically discriminate against nonwhite customers. The story reveals that although the company claims to have stopped practicing race-based underwriting decades ago, "new documents show ... that race-based practices remained in effect years longer, and applied to a much wider range of policies." The investigation exposes "techniques not disclosed before, such as subjecting nonwhites to a more complicated application process, which tended to limit them to smaller policies costing more and carrying fewer benefits." The article points to examples of racial underwriting and follows lawsuits related to the issue.
  • Serving Up Civil Rights

    Somewhere within the powers granted by the "commerce clause" of the constitution lies the right to keep restaurants from discriminating against customers and to regulate ponds on private property used by migratory birds. Ghannam reports on the changes to civil rights and other rights that might be effected if the commerce clause is weakened by the Supreme Court.