Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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Search results for "excessive force" ...

  • 60 Dead Inmates

    Between 2007 and 2012, 60 inmates died in San Diego County jail facilities, resulting in the county having the highest inmate mortality rate in California. It's a trend that's only gotten worse since a Bureau of Justice Statistics report showing that between 2000 and 2007, San Diego had the second highest death rate of California’s large jail systems. Through an exhaustive review of documents, CityBeat uncovered death attributed to excessive force by deputies, poor supervision of mentally ill and drug dependent inmates and a department that doesn't adhere to its own policies when it comes to monitoring the most at-risk inmates. This has resulted in at least five lawsuits against the county. We followed up our initial series by tracking deaths in 2013, and found continued lapses in policy and continued poor oversight of vulnerable inmates.
  • The abuse of Tasers in law enforcement

    A Necessary Shock? is a groundbreaking multi-media exposé of how 265 Iowa law enforcement agencies have quietly adopted the use of powerful electrical weapons commonly known as Tasers without establishment of required training or ethical standards to safeguard against abuse. The investigation told the stories of 11 different cases: One where a mentally disabled woman was tased four times in an effort to force her to change her clothing; two people who died in 2013 and eight who filed lawsuits alleging Iowa law enforcement officers used excessive force with the devices. Notable in this investigation is the collection and publication of videos in six of the cases. This evidence -- one showing an officer tasing a man who was already on his knees with his hands behind his head -- was made possible through relatively new lapel camera technology worn by some officers. Additionally, some Tasers themselves now have cameras, which were additionally collected through public record requests and published in this series.
  • Excessive Force on the Force

    KUSA obtains a videotape from a case involving excessive police force that had been hidden from the defendants themselves and it brings new light to the case.
  • Cop Stomp

    KIRO-TV investigates racially charged excessive force allegations against Seattle police officers and weather a cozy relationship between police and another local television station helped keep those allegation's secret.
  • Who's Watching the Cops?

    This article looks into the usefulness of civilian oversight of the police and allegations against them due to excessive force are handled by two towns in the area of coverage. Additionally, everyone agrees public oversight of the police is necessary, but not sure if it the most effective. Further, the public oversight group only has so much power and is often left without taking corrective action.
  • Police Complaints Rising

    Brutality complaints were on the rise at three area law enforcement departments; they had increased by 25 percent in the last five years. Complaints about other officer misconduct, such as rudeness or harassment, also were on the rise. Few citizen complaints were validated by the departments, which investigated the complaints themselves. The majority of complaints were deemed unsubstantiated and in many cases they were classified as false, which subjected the complainant to possible criminal prosecution.
  • Use of Force

    After finding that a young police The Chronicle established a computer database to keep records of use of force by individual police officers, and found "about 100 officers were responsible for a quarter of the force reported by officers in the 2,100-member department in a nine-year period." Another statistic was that African Americans "bore a disproportionate amount of force and arrests despite the fact they made up less than 8 percent of the city's population." The city had to pay more than $5 million in damages in force-related cases over those nine years, yet it seldom disciplined the officers responsible. Also, "police-involved shootings were investigated in an incomplete fashion."
  • Policing Force

    Reporters examine Southwest Washington police departments' failure to track and discipline officers who use excessive force. Problem officers abuse their authority, and then public funds are used to settle the legal claims against them. Citizens were injured by officers who already had histories of brutality.
  • Jail Abuse

    An investigation into problems at Sacramento's downtown jail ranging from charges of excessive force against inmates and poor medical care.
  • No Sense of Justice

    These stories found that no police shooting inquest in Milwaukee over the past twenty years ever resulted in criminal charges. In one case, an off-duty police officer shot and killed someone who tried to steal his lawnmower; the officer was let off with no consequences. The investigation found several cases in which the juries did not completely acquit the police officer, but still the shootings were written off as justifiable. Besides exposing this problem, the investigation offers some suggestions for reform.