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 "California" ...

  • 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.
  • L.A. Times: How California Law Shielded Dishonest Cops

    For decades, California’s strict police privacy laws made it nearly impossible for anyone to find out basic information about police officer misconduct. A team of Los Angeles Times reporters spent months investigating the impact of this secrecy on the criminal justice system. They found that officers caught for dishonesty and other serious wrongdoing were able to continue testifying in court without prosecutors, defendants, judges and jurors ever finding out about their past. Countless defendants were convicted based on the testimony of these officers. Published at the height of a political debate over making police records public, the stories helped galvanize support to change state law and open up some records about officer misconduct, which had been kept confidential for 40 years.
  • KPCC Sexual Misconduct Investigation

    A first-of-its-kind investigation into Los Angeles County revealed more than one hundred sexual misconduct cases that ended with settlements or judgements paid for with public funds.
  • inewsource: Hustling Hope

    inewsource spent months investigating how a California lawyer built a national network of Trina Health clinics to perform what he calls a “miraculous” treatment for reversing the complications of diabetes, even though medical experts consider it a scam that harms patients. Senior healthcare reporter Cheryl Clark tells the story of a couple in rural Montana who invested their life savings into opening their own clinic, in part so the husband could get the treatments locally for his diabetes. Less than two years later, the clinic was shuttered as health insurers refused to pay for the treatment and its founder came under federal investigation. He pleaded guilty in January 2019 to public corruption charges related to his Trina Health operation in Alabama.
  • 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.
  • CALmatters: With California school bonds, the rich get richer and the poor, not so much

    Over the last two decades, voters in California have approved unprecedented amounts of local school bonds – to the tune of $113 billion – to modernize school facilities. But, as a CALmatters data analysis has found, schools in the state’s wealthiest communities have been reaping far more of that money than California’s poorer schools.
  • CALmatters: California’s for-profit college watchdog fails to police as feds back down

    The California agency responsible for overseeing the state’s 1,000-plus for-profit colleges and vocational schools has repeatedly failed or been slow to enforce laws meant to prevent fraud and abuse, leaving a serious gap in accountability as federal regulators back away from the job.
  • CALmatters: California teacher pension debt swamps school budgets

    California’s tax revenue may be surging thanks to a strong economy, but rapidly rising employee pension costs mean public school budgets are being squeezed.
  • BuzzFeed: Contract Killer

    The story of one of America’s bloodiest hitmen — and the failures in the justice system that allowed him to murder the dispossessed with impunity for decades.
  • Born on Drugs

    What happens to children who are born drug-exposed - and what happens to their parents? Over the course of the generation spanning “crack babies” to “heroin babies,” California and the nation have made legal and philosophical shifts, removing fewer drug-exposed children from their parents’ care and working harder to make fractured families whole again. Sometimes, it works. Most often, it doesn’t.