Fresno Chief of Police Jerry Dyer is one of the longest-serving leaders of a big-city police department in modern California history. But his tenure has been marred by scandal and corruption among the officers who serve under him. In a story for KQED he researched and wrote at the IRP, reporter Andrew Beale investigates both Dyer and his department.
IRP reporter Robert Lewis and School of Journalism lecturer Thomas Peele were interviewed on KQED Newsroom about investigating police misconduct. They also discussed an IRP-reported story about receiving records of criminally convicted California police officers.
Counselor testified she didn’t report suspected abuse to authorities before Gabriel Fernandez was killed
IRP reporter Garrett Therolf reports in the Los Angeles Times that an employee of a contractor paid millions by the county’s Department of Children and Family Services failed to pass on information about eight-year-old Gabriel Fernandez’s abuse before his death. As someone working with children, she was required by law to share this information with authorities.
The Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy’s Journalist’s Resource interviewed Daffodil Altan and Andrés Cediel about Trafficked in America, a documentary about an Ohio egg farm’s exploitation of trafficked Guatemalan workers produced by the IRP and PBS Frontline. The Shorenstein Center awards the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, for which Altan and Cediel’s film is a finalist. The prize winner will be announced on March 12.
The Columbia Journalism Review has published an article about California Attorney General Xaiver Beccerra threatening legal action if IRP reporters Robert Lewis and Jason Paladino do not return data on criminally convicted police officers. The journalists received documents through public records requests. Lewis and Paladino have refused to turn over the data and have been carefully vetting the names listed in the documents.
In statements on Friday, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra refused to rule out legal action against journalists at the Investigative Reporting Program and Investigative Studios. Through public records requests, the reporters obtained documents listing state police officers who have been convicted of crimes. Three weeks after receiving the lists, Becerra’s office sent a letter demanding that the reporters destroy the lists and threatening legal action if any of the contents are published.
IRP Director John Temple’s CALmatters piece challenges California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s efforts to suppress a statewide report on police criminal convictions. The IRP received this report in response to a Public Records Act request it filed.
IRP Director John Temple writes for The Atlantic about the current environment of the newspaper industry. As the former editor, president and publisher of the Rocky Mountain News, which was shut down in 2009, he’s seen first-hand the damage losing a newspaper can do both to the journalists and the community. Now he sees other newspapers in trouble and believes journalists need to innovate to make local news an ongoing resource.
The IRP’s Jason Paladino and Investigative Studio’s Robert Lewis report for The Mercury News and KQED News that California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has warned the reporters that a list of cop criminal convictions they obtained through a Public Records Act request must be destroyed. The IRP and Studios are contesting the demands, as the obtained documents provide a rare glimpse at the volume of officer misconduct at a time of heightened interest in police accountability.
The Bell, published by IRP fellow Elizaveta Osetinskaya, spoke with escort Nastya Rybka and her sex coach Alex Leslie after their return from Thailand and their release in Russia. Rybka has previously claimed she holds evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election campaign, allegedly obtained through her acquaintance with Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire.
A story in The Bell, published by IRP fellow Elizaveta Osetinskaya, details how Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin — whose ties with the Russian president have earned him the nickname “Putin’s Chef” — played a leading role in the rise of the private military company (PMC) Wagner. The report brings together the two decades-long history of Prigozhin’s involvement.
A judge has recommended charges against Hamid Hayat, the infamous figure in the “sleeper cell” case, be dropped on grounds that Hayat’s lawyer failed to represent him fairly. The IRP began reporting on Hayat in 2006 for PBS Frontline. Former IRP reporter Abbie VanSickle continued coverage in her 2016 series with the IRP for The Intercept.
In partnership with KQED, journalist Robert Lewis, who works with the IRP as part of its California Corruption Project, reports on corruption among Bakersfield-area law enforcement. Narcotics squad officers have pleaded guilty to stealing about 30 pounds of marijuana. A grand jury is continuing to investigate and the corruption scandal is still growing.
Former IRP student Brian Krans’s report on local political corruption in Fresno County ran on KQED’s The California Report. He explored how a district attorney charged two important local officials with bribery. However, the breadth of this issue is much wider than just a few indictments. Click the “more” link below to hear the story in full:
The IRP’s Jason Paladino writes for The Atlantic about the secret removal of safety data on Navy accidents. Although there have been previous reports of high-ranking officials hindering the disclosure of Navy documents, a representative from the agency insists that the removal decision was part of a website redesign.