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 "standoff" ...

  • The death of Korryn Gaines

    These stories explored the death of Korryn Gaines after a six-hour standoff with Baltimore County police. Baltimore Sun reporters were able to shed light on the incident with stories about Gaines’ past encounters with police and social media postings, an exclusive interview with the neighbor who allowed police to drill holes in the wall he shared with Gaines’ apartment so they could monitor her movements, and another exclusive on court documents showing that police sought Gaines’ private Facebook messages and other account information. Reporters also explored other angles, such as the role social media is playing in encounters with police across the country. Finally, reporters gained exclusive access to the investigative file that provided a trove of information on how the standoff went down.
  • A Cry for Help

    The trend was unmistakable. Minnesotans who were suicidal or otherwise having a mental health crisis were dying in confrontations with police. The Star Tribune decided to go beyond the anecdotes and develop the first comprehensive database of individuals killed after encounters with police in Minnesota. An exhaustive analysis of death certificate data, news accounts, police reports and other records revealed a powerful statistic: 45 percent of those who died in forceful encounters with police were in crisis or had a history of mental illness. The number was even more stark for 2015: nine of 13 killed fell into that category. The Star Tribune multimedia project “A Cry for Help” showed the collision of a broken mental health system with law enforcement, the responders of last resort. While questions of police conduct and use of force have revolved around race, one advocacy group estimated that mentally ill people are 16 times more likely to die in a police encounter than others. Our team faced the challenge of how to tell this story in a fresh and engaging way. They did it by obtaining extraordinary access to individuals: A cop who had killed two people, each of whom threatened him amid their mental breakdowns. The mother of a young mentally ill man killed by police who now advocates for better training. A man who tried to commit suicide by cop whose survival demonstrates how these situations don’t have to end in tragedy. These narratives were enhanced by hard-fought access to dozens of police case files that included powerful police video footage of a St. Paul standoff in 2015. The project also quantified, for the first time, the stories of every person who died in an encounter with police since 2000, and that database is now continually updated on the Star Tribune website.
  • Spa shooter sidestepped police

    Following a mass shooting inside a suburban Milwaukee spa, reporters John Diedrich and Gina Barton dug into the history of shooter Radcliffe Haughton with police in his community of Brown Deer. They uncovered a series of failures by police that left a dangerous man on the street, emboldening him to become more violent. Let down by police, Zina Haughton sought protection with a restraining order. She was dead days after it was issued. Diedrich and Barton found Brown Deer did not follow the state’s mandatory arrest law in such cases and failed to uphold its most basic duty: protecting the public. The most remarkable finding was that Brown Deer police actually retreated from a standoff with Haughton even though officers had saw him point what appeared to be a rifle at his wife. The police chief was defiant. Elected officials in Brown Deer deferred to the chief, who operates with little oversight in the village, the reporters found. The case revealed a loophole in state’s domestic violence laws: No one could hold local police accountable for failing to follow the law as designed by legislators. Data reporter Ben Poston joined the effort to examine how many domestic violence cases referred to prosecutors result in charges, thus holding other parts of the criminal justice system accountable.
  • Burning Rainbow Farm: How a Stoner Utopia Went Up in Smoke

    Tom Crosslin and Rollie Rohm were the owners of Rainbow Farm, a 52-acre campground and concert venue with the mission of advocating the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana. Their activities included holding events on the property, events at which attendees smoked marijuana and which trumpeted many uses for hemp. Though the two men did not sell or deal the drug, these activities drew the ire of the local Cass County, MI prosecutor, who began to focus efforts on getting Rainbow Farm shut down. Rohm's son was taken away from the two men, and a series of legal pushes by the police ended in a standoff at Rainbow Farm. In the end, FBI snipers shot and killed both men, who had burned Rainbow Farm to the ground in an act of protest. Author Dean Kuiper examines the buildup to the fateful standoff, and discusses what Rainbow Farm's purpose was in this book. Ironically, this story was widely reported in the Midwest before the events of Sept. 11, 2001 pushed it off the front page. Yet Kuiper stuck with it to produce this story.
  • Deadly Standoff

    Using Freedom of Information Act, investigative reporters at WOOD-TV went through hundreds of pages of police reports, video tapes, photographs and transcripts about the deaths of a Michigan State Police officer and the suspect during a standoff and manhunt in 2003. From this investigation, police mistakes, cover-ups were revealed and the credibility of police officials and police statements were questioned.
  • 15 days of anguish: The inside story of Arizona's prison standoff

    This narrative recounts the nation's longest prison hostage standoff, a 15-day crisis at an Arizona prison. The story was reconstructed from Republic interviews and from 50 hours of taped negotiations between inmates and negotiators, official debriefings of corrections officers, investigative reports, inmate files, command logs and other public records. The Republic obtained the records only after much wrangling with the Department of Corrections and the Governor's office. After the Republic published stories on the standoff based on off-the-record sources, a county prosecutor's office rejected the Governor's office arguments to withhold the information and released the records. The story revealed how gross security flaws, mismanagement, and poor judgment led to the incident in which two women were raped.
  • Raytheon Finds New Problems With Missiles

    This set of articles and documents highlights some recent defense contract issues. The Navy is withholding millions of dollars from the Raytheon Co. until it fixes problems with its Joint Standoff Weapon (J-SOW) and Tamahawk missile. Raytheon was also target by the U.S. Inspector General for extreme mark-ups on contracted merchandise (259 percent in one case). Also included are an executive summary from the Inspector General on determining price resonableness on contracts, a memorandum concerning failure to obtain reasonable prices and and a spreadsheet/appendix of specific military contracts that were overpriced.
  • Waco Re-examined

    The Dallas Morning News reports "a continuing examination of the conduct of government agents during and after the 1993 Branch Davidian siege near Waco, Texas. The News' continuing work on Waco has revealed significant omissions and inaccuracies in the official account of the deadliest tragedy in U.S. law enforcement history. The News' stories have prompted the appointment of a special counsel, former U.S. Sen. John Danforth, to investigate government actions during the standoff. The News' stories have also led to new investigations of the Waco incident by both houses of Congress..."
  • (Untitled)

    Thirty years ago, Arkansas turned thousands of mentally ill people out of state hospitals. Today, communities and caretakers face each other in a standoff on how to handle a difficult group while the state stands in the wings, paralyzed by a lack of policy and agencies in conflict. This Democrat Gazette series examines what has happened since private caretakers took over and the effect on taxpayers. (Dec. 10 - 12, 1995)
  • (Untitled)

    FRONTLINE investigates how the FBI conducted itself during the 51-day standoff in 1993 with the Branch Davidians at Waco, Texas. The report tells the story behind the FBI's actions at Waco, beginning with its extraordinary decision to use armored vehicles against the religious sect and ending with its tear-gas assault against the Branch Davidians' compound. (Oct. 17, 1995)