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Exposing Chicago Police Brutality

In 2015, journalist Jamie Kalven broke a story in Slate Magazine that sent shockwaves through Chicago. He detailed how a police shooting was being covered up and how autopsy reports showed Laquan McDonald was shot 16 times by a police officer, and there was dashcam footage to prove it. After months of suppressing that footage, the city released it and the name of the officer, Jason VanDyke.

My team and I visited Chicago during the 2019 polar vortex to interview Jamie about his history of exposing police abuse and his newest venture, The Citizens Police Data Project. It’s a public database of all the Chicago Police Department criminal and disciplinary records that Jamie had fought for years to be made public. His goal is to create transparency and accountability so citizens and police can work together to stop police brutality.

While we were there I bumped into filmmaker Rick Rowley who was interviewing Jamie for his Showtime documentary about the Laquan McDonald case, “16 Shots.”


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