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 "cops" ...

  • Chicago Police kept secret dossiers on public speakers

    Tribune reporters discovered that Chicago Police were running secret background checks on public speakers at the police board’s monthly disciplinary meetings. Speakers included men and women whose loved ones had been killed by police, attorneys, activists, a religious leader, and even cops themselves. The police department secretly created profiles on more than 300 different speakers, potentially violating a court decree meant to prevent police spying on First Amendment activities. The Tribune also discovered a major discrepancy in how long police ran the secret checks, leading Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to order an inspector general investigation into the matter.
  • Cops and Robbers

    This series charts the path of perhaps the most corrupt officer to wear a Baltimore Police badge, from his history of ignored complaints of abuse and untruthfulness to showing the depths of crimes uncovered by a federal investigation, including drug trafficking and robbery. The story maps out how the corruption was not an isolated event confined to a particular unit, but rather ingrained in the culture of “plainclothes” police units long relied on to combat crime. It exposes new allegations, and educates readers who might otherwise not understand the negative effects of aggressive policing employed in Baltimore’s most high-crime neighborhoods.
  • Asbury Park Press: Protecting the Shield

    Killed. Beaten. Stalked. More than 200 citizens across New Jersey have been victimized in recent years by out-of-control rogue cops. In many cases, the cops kept their jobs, even got promoted – while tens of millions of your tax dollars kept the abuses quiet. Until now.
  • The Daily News: Carting Company Expose

    Garbage truck driver Sean Spence fatally ran down two people in the Bronx and drove himself further into trouble by lying about one of his victims.The embattled Sanitation Salvage employee lied to police about his first crash last November, telling cops that an off-the-books worker who was helping on his route was a crazed homeless man who suddenly jumped on the side of his rig, sources with knowledge of the case said. Ultimately, the company closed down.
  • OCCRP: The Brotherhood of Killers and Cops

    In Russia, Aslan “Big Brother” Gagiyev is called the “No. 1 killer.” He was the architect of the “Family,” an elite murder squad that killed dozens and included high-ranking law enforcement officials among its ranks. Roman Anin sat down with Gagiyev to hear his story.
  • NJ Advance Media: The Force Report

    A 16-month investigation by NJ Advance Media that found New Jersey's system for tracking police force is broken, with no statewide collection or analysis of data, little oversight by state officials and no standard practices among local departments. Two decades ago, officials envisioned a centralized database that would flag dangerous cops, preventing unnecessary injuries and costly excessive force lawsuits. But that database was never created. So we built it.
  • L.A. Times: How California Law Shielded Dishonest Cops

    For decades, California’s strict police privacy laws made it nearly impossible for anyone to find out basic information about police officer misconduct. A team of Los Angeles Times reporters spent months investigating the impact of this secrecy on the criminal justice system. They found that officers caught for dishonesty and other serious wrongdoing were able to continue testifying in court without prosecutors, defendants, judges and jurors ever finding out about their past. Countless defendants were convicted based on the testimony of these officers. Published at the height of a political debate over making police records public, the stories helped galvanize support to change state law and open up some records about officer misconduct, which had been kept confidential for 40 years.
  • L.A. Times: Gaming the System: How Cops and Firefighters Cashed In on L.A.’s Pension Program

    More than a thousand aging first responders joined a highly unusual retirement program and then took extended leaves – hundreds were out longer than a year – at twice their usual pay.
  • Detroit Free Press: They look like cops, but they're not

    A Detroit Free Press investigation found that police agencies across Michigan are supplementing their ranks with unlicensed civilians, commonly called reserve officers, who wear uniforms and badges and carry guns. But these volunteers are unregulated and not subject to state-established training standards, despite frequently assisting real cops on patrol and, sometimes, with arrests. No one had ever tallied the number of reserve officers in Michigan, so the Free Press did and uncovered a staggering number, and many who had committed crimes and other misdeeds.
  • Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Troubled officer kills wife, her friend and himself

    A troubled Georgia police officer with a history of violence and dishonesty shot and killed his wife, her male friend and himself in June 2018. An AJC breaking news investigation revealed that prosecutors and the local law enforcement community for years enabled Officer Robert Sasser and looked the other way in the face of a documented pattern of misconduct. This helped set the stage for his final violent act.