Resource Center

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The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 26,000 investigative stories — both print and broadcast.

These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center.

 

 

 



Search results for "duties" ...

  • Force at the Border

    On Oct. 10, 2012, one or more Border Patrol agents shot an unarmed Mexican teenager 10 times in the back and head, firing through the border fence from Arizona into Nogales, Mexico. Agents said Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez had thrown rocks at them. But their version of events didn’t square with the facts. As Arizona Republic reporters dug further into that killing and into 41 other cases of deadly force by on-duty Border Patrol agents, they found that agents who use deadly force face few if any public repercussions, even when the cases appear dubious. They found that agents who kill are protected by a culture of secrecy at Customs and Border Protection. The country’s largest law-enforcement body, CBP also is among the least transparent – in fact, its policies fly in the face of best practices recommended by national police organizations. The investigation found previously unreported deaths at the hands of agents. It found that hundreds of Border Patrol agents didn’t use deadly force, despite facing the same circumstances as the agents who killed. In addition, it examined why border deaths don't spark outrage and how the Border Patrol is increasingly backing up local police and conducting local police duties.

    Tags: border patrol; customs and border protection; police

    By Bob Ortega, Rob O'Dell, Daniel Gonzalez

    Arizona Republic (Phoenix)

    2013

  • License to Swill

    The Better Government Association and NBC 5 found that numerous Illinois police and fire labor contracts allow police officers and firefighters to arrive at work with a blood-alcohol level up to and including 0.079 – just below 0.08, at which drivers are legally considered intoxicated in Illinois. Turns out such contract language is, in many cases, decades-old and carried from one labor agreement to the next with little thought. The hazards of first responders being allowed to work “buzzed” is obvious: They deal with life-and-death decisions – whether in burning buildings or while pointing guns at suspects – that demand good decision-making and proper reaction times that alcohol can compromise. Our story came on the heels of the City of Chicago approving a $4.1 million settlement to the family of an unarmed man fatally shot by an on-duty Chicago cop who had been drinking alcohol prior to his shift.

    Tags: police; blood-alcohol level; intoxication

    By Patrick Rehkamp, Robert Herguth, Phil Rogers, Katy Smyser, Lisa Capitanini, Richard Moy

    Better Government Association

    2013

  • 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.

    Tags: immigration; border patrol

    By John Carlos Frey; Esther Kaplan; Phil Longman

    Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute

    2013

  • Conservatorships in Tennessee

    In an obscure part of the court system, reporter Walter F. Roche, Jr. discovered tales of abuse that led to new state law, launched a government investigation and spurred at least one judge to make changes on how he handles cases. The victims are vulnerable, often elderly, without family to look after them. What they have in common is that a court has found them unable physically or mentally to make sound choices–and appointed a guardian or conservator to fill this duty. Roche found that these court-appointed conservators don’t always have the best interest of the ward in mind.

    Tags: courts; abuse; public guardians

    By Walter F. Rouche Jr.; Deborah Fisher; Lisa Green; Scott Stroud

    The Tennessean

    2013

  • Rhode Island Priest Sex Abuse Letters

    In 2012 and early 2013, three Catholic priests were removed from duty at parishes in Rhode Island after credible allegations of sexual abuse against them surfaced. Several adult victims came forward to report assaults that happened decades earlier. In each case, the Diocese of Providence sent a letter describing the abuse and the circumstances to Rhode Island State Police. But because of Rhode Island's brief Statute of Limitations, as short as three years in some cases, there was no way to prosecute the priests criminally. Victims were also unable to bring civil lawsuits in most cases. NBC 10 wanted to know how many other Rhode Island priests had been credibly accused of sexual abuse but never charged with child molestation or rape. While the Diocese of Providence is not subject to public records laws, Rhode Island State Police maintained copies of the letters and must comply with the state's open records regulations. Over a six month period, public records requests revealed 45 letters sent to State Police by the Diocese during the past decade. The letters gave new insight into what victims experienced and how they were treated once they came forward. They also raised questions about why some cases were apparently reported to State Police, while others were not.

    Tags: police; victim; sexual abuse; priests; rhode island

    By Katie Davis

    WJAR-TV (Providence, R.I.)

    2013

  • 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.

    Tags: police; crime; shooting; death; use of force

    By Adam Townsend; Roy Rivenburg; Penny Arevalo; Sarah DeCrescenzo

    Patch.com

    2012

  • Stripping Funds

    After months of public records requests, we finally obtained thousands of heavily redacted receipts by the Port of Oakland. We honed in on one for $4,500 on a poorly copied receipt. It was from a business in Houston. A quick online map search showed us the business was a notorious strip club. Another receipt led us to another business closer to home. A karaoke bar suspected to be a house of prostitution where Port clients were being entertained at the public's expense. Several nights of surveillance brought to light another discovery. Oakland Police Officers were making regular visits to this club while on duty.

    Tags: None

    By John Klossner; Tony Hodrick; Roland De Wolk; Cristina Gastelu-Villarreal; Eric Rasmussen

    KTVU-TV (Oakland, Calif.)

    2012

  • Spa shooter sidestepped police

    Following a mass shooting inside a suburban Milwaukee spa, reporters John Diedrich and Gina Barton dug into the history of shooter Radcliffe Haughton with police in his community of Brown Deer. They uncovered a series of failures by police that left a dangerous man on the street, emboldening him to become more violent. Let down by police, Zina Haughton sought protection with a restraining order. She was dead days after it was issued. Diedrich and Barton found Brown Deer did not follow the state’s mandatory arrest law in such cases and failed to uphold its most basic duty: protecting the public. The most remarkable finding was that Brown Deer police actually retreated from a standoff with Haughton even though officers had saw him point what appeared to be a rifle at his wife. The police chief was defiant. Elected officials in Brown Deer deferred to the chief, who operates with little oversight in the village, the reporters found. The case revealed a loophole in state’s domestic violence laws: No one could hold local police accountable for failing to follow the law as designed by legislators. Data reporter Ben Poston joined the effort to examine how many domestic violence cases referred to prosecutors result in charges, thus holding other parts of the criminal justice system accountable.

    Tags: Milwaukee; shooting; gun; murder; police; crime

    By John Diedrich; Gina Barton; Ben Poston

    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    2012

  • 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.

    Tags: Police; police speeders

    By Sally Kestin; John Maines

    Sun-Sentinel

    2012

  • No Show Policing

    The police chief of one of New Jersey's largest cities billed taxpayers for tens of thousands of dollars a year for off-duty "detail work", much of which was never actually performed. Subsequent reporting uncovered that a handful of influential officers, including the heads of both police unions, also enriched themselves in this way. Police records were also so sloppy that it appears taxpayers paid some officers double for working (or, in some cases, not working) the exact same hours.

    Tags: taxpayers; police; off-duty; News Jersey

    By Walt Kane; Matt Murphy; Anthony Cocco; Ryan Beckman; John Capriotti

    News 12 New Jersey (Edison, N.J. )

    2011