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 "state police" ...

  • 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.
  • NJ.com: The Force Report

    The Force Report is built on five years of data and 72,677 pages of documents. It details every reported incident of police force from 2012 through 2016, at the time the most recent year of data available for the state's 468 local police departments and the State Police. The resulting analysis revealed troubling trends that escaped scrutiny.
  • DFP: Trooper tases teen on ATV. Police video reveals what happens next

    Readers had known about the tragic death of 15-year-old Damon Grimes, who crashed his ATV while running from State Police in Detroit. People knew a trooper had been charged with murder after leaning out of his patrol car to use his Taser on Grimes, causing the crash. But the details were limited. That’s until the Free Press used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain documents, raw video and radio broadcasts to reconstruct the scene before, during and after the accident. In a published story and never-before-seen video, the newspaper shined a spotlight on the actions of police that day. The video was made by piecing together hours of video and audio footage from police body cameras, dashboard cameras, surveillance tape and broadcasts. A Detroit officer whose inappropriate comments were caught on the video was reassigned.
  • State Police Troopers, Supervisors Charged in Overtime Scandal

    Dozens of respected members of the Massachusetts State Police are suspended, so far ten have been criminally charged, and the investigations by federal and state prosecutors are continuing with more arrests expected in 2019. All of this is the result of a massive overtime scheme that was uncovered by 5 Investigates, the investigative team at WCVB in Boston. This is a precedent setting scandal that has unfolded in Massachusetts since our initial investigation. The work of 5 Investigates began in 2017 with dozens of public records requests and our first story in October that revealed supervisors and troopers who appeared to be earning thousands of dollars in overtime they never worked. By early 2018, we began to see significant developments -- suspensions, arrests for theft of taxpayer money, and a response from the Governor that resulted in some of the largest reforms within the State Police that Massachusetts has ever seen.
  • Boston Globe: Massachusetts State Police Turmoil

    In a series of stories throughout 2018, the Globe uncovered instances of corruption within the state’s largest law enforcement agency, revealing numerous institutional failures and costly missteps. The reporters uncovered several cases of misconduct, such as a trooper’s history of racist online posts, a trooper's failures to halt a drunk driver and stop a fatal crash, and supervisors who never questioned a trooper’s drug dealing past. In the wake of these stories, the department opened internal inquiries.
  • State Police Secrets and Surveillance

    The Texas Department of Public Safety and politicians for years worked behind the scenes to create a system of surveillance, casting a net that included potential criminals and everyday innocent citizens. DPS, the state police, began covering up secrets and limiting media access when The Dallas Morning News Watchdog Desk began investigating. That led to the agency sending private memos to state legislators and staff in an attempt to stop or discredit The News', and other media outlets, story publications.
  • State police vague on internal misconduct despite reforms

    The Pennsylvania State Police investigate its own troopers for officer-involved shootings. Only once since 2008 was a shooting deemed improper. All others were justified, though almost no public information on investigations has been released. The police declined to even say how many residents were killed. Relatedly, we investigated the lack of transparency in internal discipline and how officers are rarely fired, despite dozens of potentially fireable offenses outlined in internal reports.
  • Border surge began as crime fell

    Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and other top state officials sold a massive border state police and Texas National Guard buildup on tales of violent transnational crime spilling across the Rio Grande River. In a void of federal border security, only Texas could stem the tide, the narrative went. But after a months-long open records battle with the Texas Department of Public Safety, a finalist for the 2015 IRE Golden Padlock Award, and an unprecedented data analysis, the Houston Chronicle proved violent crime rates had been declining for years before the surge and were not significantly affected by the extra manpower.
  • Stop and Seize: Cops and the Cash They Confiscate

    After Sept. 11, 2001, federal authorities asked local and state police to serve as their eyes and ears on America's highways. The departments of Justice and Homeland Security, along with state agencies, spent millions to train them in an aggressive technique known as highway interdiction. But it soon became something else: Dragnets that swept up the criminal and innocent alike in a search for money. The Washington Post series revealed one of the great unknown consequences of 9/11. Local and state police, working through a Justice program called Equitable Sharing, have made nearly 62,000 cash seizures totally $2.5 billion since 9/11, without warrants or criminal charges.
  • Deadly Consequences: Cops Caught Speeding

    "Cops Caught Speeding" is an in-depth investigation of the national problem of police officers speeding on the job."20/20"'s Matt Gutman examines several high-profile cases of cops accused of speeding needlessly -- sometimes 30mph or more over the legal speed limits -- behavior that ended in several tragic deaths that victim families say could have been prevented. "20/20" travels to North Carolina, home of several recent speeding-related police crashes, to catch speeding cops in the act -- and then confront N.C. state police with the evidence. This two-part "20/20" investigative series is the first national news program to shine a light on this widespread police misconduct, and the deadly, untold human toll.