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 [email protected] where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "use of force" ...

  • Policing in America: Five Years after Ferguson

    CBS News’ “Policing in America: Five Years After Ferguson” is a first-of-its-kind investigation into changes that police departments across America say they're making regarding race and policing since the shooting death of Michael Brown and subsequent protests and unrest in Ferguson, Missouri five years ago.
  • Forcing the Peace

    WCPO's I-Team investigated police use of force involving officers at 32 local police departments. Our investigation uncovered excessive force, unreported use of force and identified the police officer who punched more people in the face than any other local cop. We also revealed black children were more likely than adults to be tased by police.
  • 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.
  • Use of Force: How the courts respond to police violence doesn’t always lead to justice

    This story examines how law enforcement officers justify using deadly force through the lens of three questionable Houston-area police shootings and one Texas law enforcement official who routinely defends officers in court as an expert witness.
  • See No Evil: A Miami Herald Investigation

    For more than two years, Brown has investigated corruption, brutality and the systemic, barbaric abuse of inmates in Florida’s prison system, the nation’s third largest. In 2015, Florida prison deaths were at an all-time high, and use of force against inmates had more than doubled in five years. Brown began to examine why and discovered a disturbing pattern of deliberate indifference and even blatant cover-ups among corrections officers, commanders and the agency’s top leaders who often looked the other way as inmates were beaten, starved and killed.
  • Focus on Force

    An Orlando Sentinel investigation found that the Orlando Police Department used force against suspects far more often than other departments of similar size; that a small number of officers accounted for an outsize proportion of the use of force; that the department’s internal-affairs division never investigated officer violence that resulted in the city’s paying more than $1 million to settle excessive-force claims; and that the city’s downtown core accounted for one in every three instances of force used by officers against suspects.
  • Over the Line

    Fatal shootings by U.S. Border Patrol agents were once a rarity. Only a handful were recorded before 2009. Unheard of were incidents of Border Patrol agents shooting Mexicans on their own side of the border. But a joint investigation by the Washington Monthly, The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute, and the television network Fusion has found that over the past five years U.S. border agents have shot across the border at least ten times, killing a total of six Mexicans on Mexican soil. A former Clinton administration official who worked on border security issues couldn’t recall a single cross-border shooting during his tenure. “Agents would go out of their way not to harm anyone and certainly not shoot across the border,” he said. But following a near doubling of the number of Border Patrol agents between 2006 and 2009, a disturbing pattern of excessive use of force emerged. For “Over the Line,” we traveled to several Mexican border towns, tracking down family members of victims, eye-witnesses to the shootings, amateur video, Mexican police reports, audiotapes, and autopsies to recreate the circumstances surrounding these cross-border killings. We recount the stories of several of them, including 16-year-old José Antonio Elena Rodriguez, a studious Mexican teen who dreamed of becoming a soldier to fight the violence that plagued his hometown of Nogales, Sonora, and who was shot and killed by U.S. border agents as he walked to pick his brother up after work. The first two shots were to the boy’s head; he was shot eight more times as he lay, prone and bleeding, on the sidewalk. Although Border Patrol protocols and international treaties between Mexico and the United States appear to have been violated by these cross border shootings, none of the agents involved have yet been prosecuted. If any agents have been relieved of their duties for their role in the incidents, that information has not been made available to the public, and our queries to Customs and Border Protection on this issue have been denied. The Washington Monthly story was accompanied by two broadcasts that aired at the launch of the news network Fusion, a joint project of ABC News and Univision. These reports delve into two of the more troubling incidents in greater depth. “Investigation Shows Mexican Teen Was Shot 8 Times on the Ground” tells the story of Rodriguez, the teenager killed in Nogales; “U.S. Border Patrol Shoots and Kills Mexican Man in Park with Family” uses amateur video and eyewitness testimony to tell the even more shocking story of Arevalo Pedroza, shot and killed by US border agents who fired into a crowd of picnickers on the Mexico side of the Rio Grande in September 2012.
  • The Shooting of Sgt. Manuel Loggins by Orange County Deputy Sheriff Darren Sandberg

    Orange County Sheriff's Deputy Darren Sandberg shot off-duty Marine Sgt. Manuel Loggins to death in front of his two young daughters in February of 2012. Loggins was unarmed, and Patch was the first organization to break the name of the victim and the name of the deputy involved, as well as an assessment by police procedure experts that mirrored findings by the district attorney months later. The shooting happened a few months after police in Fullerton beat to death the mentally ill and homeless Kelly Thomas. It was a key catalyst to the debate about how police in Orange County use force against suspects.
  • Need to Know: Crossing the Line at the Border Parts 1 & 2

    Few, if any, pieces published or broadcast in 2012 had as much impact as “Crossing the Line at the Border,” a joint project of the weekly PBS newsmagazine, “Need to Know,” and the Nation Institute that was in the best tradition of American investigative journalism. Within days of its broadcast, 16 members of Congress demanded that the U.S. Justice Department investigate the killing of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, a 42-year-old Mexican whose death at the hands of U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents was detailed in our report. A few months later, a U.S. attorney in convened a federal grand jury. It is currently considering criminal charges in the case. And months after that, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said the incident had prompted it to launch a full-scale review of its use of force. Hernandez Rojas had a fatal heart attack shortly after being subdued by agents, beaten, and shot with a Taser gun at the San Ysidro border crossing on May 28th, 2010. His death was largely ignored until the "Need to Know” team, in partnership with the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute, unearthed never-before-seen eyewitness video of the incident.
  • SPD's Vanishing Video

    The story investigates the Seattle Police Department using their dashboard cameras to examine what, if any, trends exist regarding misconduct and use of force.