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 "traffic stop" ...

  • Black drivers bear brunt of citations from routine stops by St. Anthony PD

    After the fatal police shooting of Philando Castile during a traffic stop in a St. Paul suburb, MPR News set out to investigate whether black drivers were disproportionately stopped by the law enforcement agency involved with Castile’s death. MPR analyzed thousands of traffic citations in a five-year period from the St. Anthony police department and focused our investigation on stops in which police had the most discretion to pull someone over. They expected to see some level of racial disparity, but the results were staggering.
  • 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.
  • Indian grandfather

    This story happened fast. Pursuing a cryptic police release about an injury to a unidentified man during a traffic stop on Feb. 6, I managed to track down the necessary information to publish a full account on Feb. 10. This first story of a police encounter gone wrong, of the leg sweep and spinal injury to an Indian farmer brought to Alabama days before to care for his grandson, would spiral rapidly into an international incident. I found myself being interviewed on Indian television days later as the story drew global interest. Indian diplomats were dispatched to the man's hospital bed. Two days of intense international pressure led the small department in an affluent, relatively multi-cultural bedroom community to release the video that confirmed this initial report as well as take the unusual step of arresting their own officer. In the following weeks, the governor of Alabama would apologize to the Indian government and the FBI would indict the patrol officer for a civil rights violation, leading to back-to-back hung juries in 2015. I have been covering, off and on, this fascinating look at the collision of citizen rights and attitudes on immigration and police policies ever since.
  • 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.
  • Death in Paradise

    Two-story series on a Key West in-custody death which led city officials to ask the Department of Justice for a thorough investigation not only of Key West Police, but also of the state law enforcement agency, the district attorney and the county medical examiner. GM retiree Charles Eimers died following a routine traffic stop in Key West on Thanksgiving 2013. Police told emergency responders that Eimers fled a traffic stop, then ran away and collapsed on the beach, but a cell phone video acquired by CBS News showed Eimers surrendering before being surrounded by officers. Months later, CBS obtained a second tourist video that clearly showed police lied under oath in video depositions about the possibility that Eimers had been suffocated in the sand while being placed under arrest. Police and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which was called in to investigate the in-custody death, both had contact information to obtain the tourist video, but neglected to obtain it over the course of a seven month investigation.
  • Judge Minaldi arrest

    In January of 2014, an anonymous tip was called in to KPLC-TV about a U.S. District Judge who refused to stop her vehicle for officers in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The officers were called out on a complaint about an erratic driver. The judge was eventually stopped and given a ticket for an open container. The caller claimed there was more to the story and a cover-up was underway. After multiple requests to the Lake Charles Police Dept., a press release was issued stating that Judge Patricia Minaldi was cited for having an open container in her vehicle. Initial open records requests were denied, claiming an open investigation. Once Minaldi paid a fine in Lake Charles City Court, KPLC-TV journalists requested a recording of the 911 call that led to the traffic stop. Later, KPLC-TV was able to obtain dash cam video of the judge arguing with officers and resisting their demands to get out of her vehicle. Once KPLC-TV's reports aired, Judge Minaldi was charged with DUI First Offense and was sentenced to probation. They believe the added charges were the result of public pressure after these reports aired.
  • 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.