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 "police officers" ...

  • The CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell: Chicago Wrong Raids

    The CBS Evening News and the WBBM investigative team revealed an alarming pattern of Chicago Police officers raiding the wrong homes, traumatizing innocent families and children, and, in the process, violating citizens’ Fourth Amendment rights. None of the officers involved had been disciplined or held accountable by the department.
  • The Henry Pratt Mass Shooting

    On the afternoon of Feb. 15, disgruntled warehouse employee Gary Martin opened fire during a termination hearing at the Henry Pratt Co. in Aurora, Ill., killing five people and wounding several police officers before being fatally shot by law enforcement. Before police publicly identified Martin, the Tribune learned his name from sources and began investigating his background. One thing quickly became clear: Martin, a convicted felon who had served prison time for attempting to kill his girlfriend, never should have been allowed to purchase the gun used in the shooting. This discovery – aided by carefully worded Freedom of Information Act requests, unparalleled sourcing and a review of extensive court records – prompted the Illinois State Police to disclose hundreds of pages of documents related to Martin’s firearms license and gun purchase within days of the shooting. It was an unprecedented release of information, in terms of both expediency and subject manner. Illinois law expressly prohibits the disclosure of records related to firearm owner’s identification cards or concealed carried permits, but Tribune reporters were able to convince law-enforcement officials that Martin’s firearms history should be exempt from such protections because he fraudulently obtained his license by lying on his permit application. Upon receiving this information, reporters submitted further FOIAs in an effort to understand the depths of the state’s problem. A reporting project that started within hours of a mass shooting grew into an investigation that found 34,000 Illinois had their gun permits revoked – and that the state has no idea what happen to their guns. That meant 78 percent of people stripped of their gun licenses failed to account for their weapons. The responsive records – some of which required difficult fights and keen sourcing to obtain - exposed serious flaws in the national databases relied upon to conduct criminal background checks, as well as the state’s failure to ensure that people surrender their weapons after their Firearm Owner's Identification cards are revoked. In an analysis of data released for the first time, the Tribune found as many as 30,000 guns may still be in possession of people deemed too dangerous to own firearms. The Tribune also was able to create an online-lookup that allowed readers to look up how many people in their town had their gun permits stripped, the reason for the revocation and how many times that person had made a serious inquiry about purchasing a gun.
  • Bargaining the Badge: How Hundreds of Accused Texas Officers Avoid Prison

    Across Texas, hundreds of law enforcement officers have permanently surrendered their peace officer licenses in the past four years. A KXAN investigation of 297 of those surrenders uncovered nearly all the officers were accused or charged with a crime – most often felonies. KXAN also found this system allows some bad officers to operate under the radar for years. Through internal police department and court records, KXAN found several cases of officers accused repeatedly of misconduct. In those instances, the accused police officers were able to trade their badges in a plea bargain and walk away with probation.
  • WUSA 9 -- "DC Police: Stop and Frisk"

    Through analyzing more than 6 years of data WUSA 9's “DC Police: Stop and Frisk” series uncovered 8 out of 10 people stop and frisked by Washington, DC police are African-American, despite black people making up less than half the city's population. The year-long investigation, 20 part series and hour-long special that followed exposed shocking and systematic failures by the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department to follow its own laws. Laws designed to protect people from racial bias on the part of police officers.
  • The Daily News: The Capricious Hand of NYPD Discipline

    The New York City Police Department has long been a target of complaints from rand-and-file police officers who insist that high-ranking police officials meddle in and manipulate cases to protect favored officers and punish those in disfavor. This Daily News investigation uncovered evidence of failings within the system that led to the New York City Police Department forming a panel to review the system and make recommendations based on its findings.
  • FLIPPED: Secrets Inside a Corrupt Police Department

    This is a year-long investigation of a corrupt police department that was operating as a criminal enterprise. A one-man-band investigative reporter revealed institutional and systemic failures inside a large Metro Atlanta police department. By cultivating internal police sources, he was able to demand specific, hidden public records that uncovered several scandals the Roswell Police Department tried to keep secret from the public. This investigation and public records fight resulted in the resignation of the police chief, the firing of three police officers, and an overhaul of the city's open records system to improve public access.
  • Drivers Under Siege

    They are not police officers or firefighters, yet Bay Area bus drivers who work for the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) face some of the most dangerous working conditions with the fewest protections. Using public records and video footage, our analysis found that bus drivers with AC Transit faced more violent assaults than any other district in the San Francisco Bay Area. After we started asking questions, AC Transit announced it would test out new bus shields to protect drivers and California lawmakers introduced a federal bill in Congress with bipartisan support that will require transit districts across the country to reassess their safety measures. The new law would allocate $25 million a year for five years to pay for shields, de-escalation training, systems for transit agencies nationwide to track assault data and report that data to the Department of Transportation.
  • From criminal to cop in Alaska’s most vulnerable villages

    The rape and death of a teenage girl in a remote Alaska village led to this investigation revealing that Alaska communities routinely hire criminals as police officers.
  • FLIPPED: Secrets Inside a Corrupt Police Department

    A year-long investigation by a one-man-band investigative reporter revealed institutional and systemic failures inside a large Metro Atlanta police department. By cultivating internal police sources, he was able to demand specific, hidden public records that uncovered the following scandals the Roswell Police Department tried to keep secret from the public: Officers arrested a driver for speeding using a ‘coin flip’ app; Police covered up a K9 brutally mauling a teen suspect who had already surrendered; Top sergeant intentionally froze a 13-year-old boy to get him to tell the truth; Department concealed the release of a suspected drunk driver - one of its own officers; and Officer failed to help a dying prisoner because that officer was already under investigation. This investigation and public records fight resulted in the resignation of the police chief, the firing of three police officers, and an overhaul of the city's open records system to improve public access.
  • Protecting the Shield

    “Protecting the Shield” exposed the deaths and injuries caused by out-of-control rogue cops who are knowingly left on the streets by their superiors. This exhaustive indictment of government failings shows how weak police oversight cost citizens their lives, honest officers their careers and taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. Our work prompted police reforms, including random drug testing of all police officers and a statewide internal affairs overhaul.