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 "police misconduct" ...

  • Police Misconduct

    In a year filled with stories about police misconduct, San Diego freelance journalist H.G. Reza found a big one. Reza, reporting for Voice of San Diego, uncovered a case of police charging into an immigrant family’s home and business under the guise of suspecting that family members were intending to rob the store. Reza had exclusive access to surveillance video, which sharply contradicted the police department’s official version of events. His piece revealed that officers ultimately arrested two family members simply for walking into their own home.
  • 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.
  • In The Name Of The Law

    This 5-part series examines the secrecy surrounding police misconduct in Hawaii and the effect that lack of disclosure has on the public. In1995, after local college journalists had fought and won a court battle to gain access to police disciplinary files, the politically powerful statewide police union convinced the Legislature to keep the records out of public view. We wanted to explore the effects of this major public policy decision and, nearly 20 years later, determine if police and other government officials were doing a good job overseeing misconduct and ensuring that the public was being protected from bad cops. Since the public can’t scrutinize police behavior themselves, we wanted to see what safeguards are in place so we can be confident our police officers, with their extraordinary power over ordinary citizens, are professional and competent. It turns out that police officers throughout the state are regularly disciplined for egregious offenses -- violence, lying, even criminal convictions. But there’s no way to know if they are being effectively disciplined, and it appears police administrators are at the mercy of strong union contracts. Local police commissions and prosecutors either ignore serious cases or can’t do anything about them under the current system.
  • 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.
  • Police Misconduct on Long Island hidden by secrecy law and weak oversight

    A nine-month Newsday investigation found that Long Island law enforcement agencies have breached the trust of the citizens they are paid to protect by using New York State’s officer privacy law to hide egregious cases of police misconduct, ranging from falsifying reports and lying to shooting innocent people. Newsday obtained and published portions of previously secret internal affairs investigations, confidential deadly force investigative reports and more than 6 hours of recorded Internal Affairs interviews. The paper’s effort revealed dozens of previously secret misconduct cases and informed the public of the law that helps keep those records hidden from inspection. Without Newsday, the public might never have learned the scope and breadth of offenses being committed in secret by the officers sworn to protect them.
  • Abusing the Badge

    Each year, the City of Chicago pays millions to settle police misconduct lawsuits. And millions more are spent on an effort to keep the names of officers who are the subject of police abuse allegations under wraps. For the better part of the past decade, city attorneys have sparred with public interest lawyers over whether the names of police officers repeatedly accused of misconduct should be on the public record. Thus far, the city has been successful in sealing the officers’ identities. Last year, The Chicago Reporter became the first Chicago news outlet to make some of that information public. Through our investigation, “Abusing the Badge,” we dug through every police misconduct lawsuit settled by the city--in the local and federal courts—during the past three years and compiled a database of every police officer involved. We also charted the location where the alleged abuse occurred and the circumstances behind each case.
  • Seattle Police:Vanishing Videos

    This story began as a relatively simple venture; how to get copies of police dashboard camera videos to provide watchdog oversight of a police department facing growing criticism. It grew into a major expose of questionable police tactics and a battle for public access to critical public records that is currently before the state Supreme Court. Over the course of a year and a half, KOMO TV’s fight for videos and the video database became a game of strategy and attrition as the Seattle Police Department denied us access to public records at every opportunity. We tried every means at our disposal to get these records including direct appeals to elected officials. Finally, with no other recourse, KOMO TV sued the SPD and the city of Seattle. Only then did we make our fight for these records public. What followed in 2012 was a cascade of stories; people coming forward alleging police misconduct and an attempt to hide the videos that would tell the truth. In addition to KOMO TV’s public records lawsuit, our investigation has prompted state legislators and other open records advocates to pursue changes in state law to ensure these records can no longer stay hidden.
  • Sun Sentinel: Speeding Cops

    A Miami cop in his marked patrol car set off a public fury in the fall of 2011 when a Florida state trooper clocked him going 120 mph to an off-duty job. Turning to technology and a never-before used tool – highway toll records – the Sun Sentinel produced back-to-back investigations documenting widespread police misconduct and the professional solidarity that allowed it to flourish. In "Above the Law," a three-part series published in February, reporters used police toll records to confirm what many South Florida drivers had witnessed for years: cops were among the worst speeders on the roads, taking advantage of the badge and patrol car to ignore the very laws they enforce. "Short Shifted," a two-part series published in December, used those same toll records to detail how many South Florida cops, paid to serve and protect, were regularly leaving their beats and cities before their shifts ended.
  • War Zone: The Destruction of an All-American City

    The hour-long documentary War Zone: The Destruction of an All-American City takes an unprecedented look at the impact of corruption on the East St. Louis, Illinois area, one of the poorest and most violent communities in America. The program was broadcast twice during prime time; Tuesday night at 8 pm on August 28, and the following Saturday night at 7 pm. This project was the result of an ongoing decade-long probe of government waste, corruption, police misconduct, and violence in East St. Louis and the surrounding villages by investigative reporter Craig Cheatham. Our documentary begins with a detailed look at police misconduct and corruption, how it has contributed to the breakdown of public safety in the East St. Louis area, and why local politicians tolerated such outrageous behavior by their officers. The second part of our documentary focuses on the impact of derelict and vacant housing, the slumlords who own the property and the people who live in some of the worst housing in the metro area. Our investigation also uncovered new connections between politicians and legendary slumlord Ed Sieron, who was business partners with a longtime mayor. In addition, KMOV revealed that of the 500 mostly rundown properties that Sieron owns in East St. Louis, only 13 were cited for code violations. That lack of accountability for the notorious slumlord, empowered him and made the people living in his homes feel powerless. War Zone also exposes the way East St. Louis communities have sold their economy to vice-driven businesses like strip clubs, liquor stores, a casino, and convenience marts that had a long history of selling illegal synthetic drugs. Our investigation found that nearly all of these businesses failed to employ a significant number of East St. Louis residents, even though they received millions of dollars in tax incentives that are paid by East St. Louis residents. At the same time East St. Louis is handing out tax breaks to wealthy out-of-town businessmen, it repeatedly refused to provide the same tax incentives for local residents who wanted to create family friendly businesses that would employ people living in the East St. Louis area.
  • Both Sides of the Law

    At least 93 Milwaukee police officers have been disciplined for violating laws and ordinances they were sworn to uphold. The offenses range from sexual assault and domestic violence to drunken driving and shoplifting. Officers who run afoul of the law often aren't fired or prosecuted, and they are allowed to continue enforcing laws the very laws they have broken.