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" ...

  • A Blue Wall of Silence. False Confessions

    The Washington Post exposes police misconduct in Prince George's County in two related series. "False confessions" reveals that the county's homicide detectives have used "such coercive interrogation tactics that innocent people have confessed to murder." Depriving the suspects from sleep, interrogating them for days and not allowing them to talk to lawyers are the most common tactics. "Blue Wall of Silence" reports on a decade-long pattern of police shootings. The stories reveal that, since 1990 the county police officers have shot 122 people, killing 47 of them. "They killed more people than any other major city or county police force from 1990 to 2000," the Post reports. Many of the victims were unarmed and innocent. The investigation finds that police officers have rarely - if ever - been disciplined, and that some of their crimes did not emerge until the victims or their families sued.
  • The Williams Case

    Scolforo examines "the suspicious death of black York resident Carl E. Williams Sr. in 1965." The investigative series, which is part of the newspaper's ongoing coverage into events surrounding York City's riots of 1969, reveals that Williams was probably a victim of police brutality. Though official records state that the black man died of a heart attack, interviews with the two now-retired police officers shown a number of discrepancies in their version of what happened. The series sheds light on the exhumation of the body, following the findings, and provides ongoing coverage on the re-examination of the case.
  • Policing Police: Civilian Disciplinary Board Lacks Teeth

    Anderson reports that few allegations of police misconduct make it to a hearing before the Chicago Police Board. "Of more than 8,000 complaints of misconduct in 1998, the board held just 49 hearings ... Both police and their detractors complain the quasi-judicial body fails to deliver justice."
  • The Colonel's Wife

    "In the summer of 1991, the lifeless body of Viparat Marecek was found floating face down in the Cape Fear River near Wilmington, N.C. Immediately, Viparat's husband, legendary Green Beret Colonel George Marecek, became the chief suspect. With no physical evidence linking Marecek to the crime, it took the state 9 years and 3 trials to successfully convict the war hero of killing his beautiful Thai wife." The reporters conducted an investigation into the colonel's conviction, uncovering a "botched autopsy and crime scene investigation, allegations of espionage and sexual misconduct and witness intimidation by one of the state's star witnesses, allegations of police misconduct and witness intimidation by the lead detective on the case, and the signed confession by a known serial killer that is strikingly similar to the brutal death of Viparat Marecek."
  • (Untitled)

    The Chronicle investigated misconduct committed by police officers appointed to be specialized training officers for the San Francisco Police Department and details how police in San Francisco have been promoted and selected for elite units despite their records of misbehavior in and out of uniform. (July 31; August 1, 2; September 16; October 5, 11, 18, 30; November 21, 1996)
  • Indianapolis Police Brawl

    The Indianapolis Star reports that on August 27, 1996, more than a dozen Indianapolis police officers gathered in the mayor's suite to watch a baseball game. Over the next three hours, the off-duty officers watched the game and consumed seven cases of beer. After the game and a brief stop at a downtown tavern, the officers began shouting racial slurs and making obscene gestures at passers-by on the street. Two motorists who took offense at the behavior confronted the officers. According to more than a dozen witnesses, some of the officers beat the motorists and two of the officers pulled handguns. In the days following the brawl, several of the officers involved in the incident tried to mislead investigators from the internal affairs division. Among those who proved to be less than candid was Indianapolis Police Chief Donald Christ, who initially tired to hide the fact that he had been with the officers at the game.
  • (Untitled)

    The Justice Department has a new weapon to fight police brutality. The U.S. Department of Justice has broadened enforcement powers thanks to 42 U.S.C. 14141-14142, passed in 1994, which allow it to investigate departmentwide "patterns or practices" of misconduct in local police departments and to collect statistics on police abuse.
  • Behind the Shield

    The series details contents of secret internal affairs files of the Saginaw County Sheriff's Department and reports of wrongdoing in other law enforcement agencies. The Saginaw News finds that while community leaders say officers should live up to a higher standard of conduct than ordinary citizens, police commanders hide most misconduct and prosecutors, judges, and juries excuse it. (April 8 - 12, June 14, Aug. 18, Sept. 14, 28, Oct. 12, 16 & Dec. 15 - 16, 1995)
  • Above the Law: Cops who betray the badge

    Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Sun-Sentinel series examines the record of police misconduct by hundreds of problem-prone Florida police officers who escape discipline for crimes such as rape, drug possession and assault; finds racial and ethnic bias in the criminal justice system.
  • (Untitled)

    Houston Post does an extensive records search to find that the Houston Police Department's Internal Affairs Division took so long to investigate some allegations of police misconduct that guilty officers could not be disciplined; prosecutors were often not informed when the department did find an officer guilty, Nov. 23-26, 1986.