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 "traffic stops" ...

  • L.A. Times: In the Search for Drugs, a Lopsided Dragnet

    Since 2012, deputies in a specialized narcotics unit of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department have pulled over thousands of cars on a rural stretch of the 5 Freeway, California’s major north-south artery. A Times analysis of the unit’s traffic stops found Latino drivers are stopped and searched far more frequently than other motorists – a disparity that translated into thousands of innocent people being detained by deputies acting on little more than a hunch. In several cases, federal judges ruled deputies violated people’s constitutional rights. In response to The Times’ investigation, the Sheriff’s Department recently suspended the unit’s operations.
  • Investigations following Philando Castile shooting

    On the night of July 6, 2016, 32-year-old Philando Castile was shot dead by St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez during a traffic stop. Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, live-streamed the aftermath on Facebook. Video of a dying, blood-soaked Castile, who is black, with Yanez’s gun trained on him was viewed by millions, and sparked outrage across the country. These five stories investigate the officer, his training, and the multitude of traffic stops Castile encountered before his death, despite not having a criminal record
  • Police & Race Relations

    This story delves into police and racial profiling in Amarillo. ABC 7 analyzed all traffic stops from 2015 that resulted in a warning or citation by race. We found that blacks had 10 percent of the traffic stops but made up seven percent of the Amarillo population. Hispanics had 40 percent of the traffic stops but make up 29 percent of the population. This story also looks at why the data might not tell the full story. People self-select their race on their driver’s license and the Census, but officers select a driver’s race during a traffic stop. There is also an issue in data collection because “Hispanic” didn’t become a race option for driver’s licenses until 2013. Previously, Hispanics had to select to be Black or White. Because not all licenses are updated but police must report the number of Hispanic drivers stopped each year, officers have to determine a driver’s race.
  • Racial Profiling Whitewash

    This KXAN investigation uncovered state and local law enforcement agencies wrongly reporting the race of minority drivers during traffic stops. KXAN analyzed more than 16 million Texas Department of Public Safety traffic stop records and revealed the state law enforcement agency systematically under-reported the number of minorities, mostly Hispanics, stopped on Texas roads by state troopers. The investigation questioned the validity of DPS racial profiling reports and led to immediate statewide changes in the way Texas troopers conduct traffic stops and record racial profiling data. KXAN found the same problem in the Austin Police Department which prompted an immediate audit of APD's traffic stop data and race recording practices which found APD in violation of the Texas racial profiling law. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kEG0q7WR1U
  • Police Wife: The Secret Epidemic of Domestic Violence

    "Police Wife" shows that spousal abuse is much more prevalent in police homes than in the wider population and that most police departments do little to stop it. The book also shows that the problem has impacts well beyond police families and is connected to a wide range of other issues, including botched responses to 911 domestic calls at other homes, police sexual harassment of women cops and female drivers at traffic stops, police killings of African Americans and growing social inequality. This is by all evidence the first book worldwide in journalistic form on this issue.
  • The Disproportionate Risks of Driving While Black

    An analysis by The New York Times of tens of thousands of traffic stops and years of arrest data in Greensboro, a racially mixed city of 280,000 uncovered wide racial differences in measure after measure of police conduct. Those same disparities were found across North Carolina, the state that collects the most detailed data on traffic stops. And at least some of them showed up in the six other states that collect comprehensive traffic-stop statistics.
  • Police Misconduct Coverage

    The San Diego Police Department was once nationally recognized for its positive relationship with the community. But in recent years, a rash of officer misconduct accusations hit the department. In early 2014, Voice of San Diego investigated SDPD and the coverage produced major revelations. Here are two of the big findings: SDPD missed numerous red flags about a serial sexual predator in the force before his arrest and ultimate conviction on sexual misconduct charges. SDPD used to be a national leader in addressing racial profiling concerns. But the department quietly stopped following its own rules to track profiling in traffic stops – so much so that the sergeant in charge of research and analysis didn’t know the rules existed.
  • Medical Marijuana

    Loose restrictions in state law and scant oversight by regulators have allowed people to hijack Oregon’s medical marijuana program for purposes voters never intended, The Oregonian’s investigation revealed. Most patients are using the drug to treat chronic pain rather than terminal illness, far more marijuana is grown than patients consume, and traffickers ship the excess out of state for profit. At the heart of the yearlong investigation was a wide range of public records. First there were written documents: court records and police reports on medical marijuana growers; disciplinary actions against doctors who admit patients to the state program; internal policy manuals; and correspondence between regulators and doctors. Then there were electronic data. Through months of negotiations, the paper persuaded state health authorities to release a database of participants in the marijuana program that protected patient confidentiality. A separate database on Oregon State Police traffic stops helped us to demonstrate the widespread diversion of medical marijuana to the black market. Among the investigation’s original results, published as an occasional series: Communities in southern Oregon have concentrations of marijuana patients 10 times the statewide average; Police patrolling Oregon’s highways now seize more West Coast medical marijuana than pot grown outside the program; The state places few limitations on felons participating in the program, and dozens of trafficking prosecutions involve medical marijuana cardholders with existing criminal histories; Fifty-two children are legally permitted to use pot under the state program, with limited input from pediatricians or specialists treating their underlying illnesses; Nine doctors signed off on more than half the patients in the program, and 75 percent of patients used doctors with improbably high caseloads.
  • Are Your Papers in Order

    The series reveals how the Sheriff of Maricopa County rounded up illegal aliens for deportation in an effort to remove illegal immigrants. The way this was done was arresting many people without probable cause and simple issues, such as traffic stops. Further, he was stopping darker colored people with alleged infractions and later checking on their residency to determine if they had to be deported or not.
  • Stopwatch

    The Fredrick News Post determined if disparity existed in discretionary traffic stops by using law enforcemnet's own records. It found that blacks were more likely to be searched when stopped than white motorists.