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Chip Mitchell
65 followers -
I tell stories over the radio and the Internet. I draw from more than two decades as a reporter and editor in the U.S. Midwest and Latin America.
I tell stories over the radio and the Internet. I draw from more than two decades as a reporter and editor in the U.S. Midwest and Latin America.

65 followers
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The author of the first government report to document a pattern of torture under former Chicago police Cmdr. Jon Burge is headed to court on Tuesday to defend the credibility of his investigation and findings. Michael Goldston’s report was ruled inadmissible last month by Cook County Associate Judge Neera Walsh. Her ruling excludes the report from evidence in a torture claim brought by James Gibson, who is trying to get his 25-year-old murder conviction overturned. https://www.wbez.org/shows/wbez-news/investigator-headed-to-court-to-defend-key-report-on-burge-torture/82f3f53a-a8d1-435d-8811-d031106121d3

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What happened as the Chicago Police Department focused on "contact cards"? WBEZ finds that firearm seizures dropped, detectives solved fewer murders, and a decade-long decline in shooting victims ended. Here is our investigation.

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Chicago has made it into a fifth year without a police officer dying in the line of duty—the longest span since the 1860s, a WBEZ analysis has found. We looked at records of the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation. We found 566 duty-related deaths over a century and half. The most recent took place Dec. 29, 2011, when masked men robbed a West Side convenience store and shot down an officer who was working as a security guard. Since then, Chicago officers have gone more than 49 months without a fatality. Hear what experts are saying and see a fascinating chart here:

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Hiring workers based on race or sex is illegal, but companies across the country are skirting the law by contracting out their discriminatory hiring to temp agencies. The first weekly episode of Reveal shows how the companies use code words to carry out the discrimination. The hour also includes a story I reported about a labor organizer who leads a fight to expose the discrimination by drawing from a painful lesson he learned in childhood. In Chicago, hear the show Sunday at 1 p.m. on WBEZ, 91.5 FM. In other cities, check the listings of your public radio station. I'll post instructions for downloading the podcast on Monday.
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The agency that investigates Chicago police shootings is beginning a week of training led by a controversial psychologist, WBEZ has learned. Independent Police Review Authority investigators today are starting a five-day course led by Bill Lewinski, head of the Minnesota-based Force Science Institute. Lewinski has testified about at least seven shootings by Chicago officers. Each time, he has invoked science as a justification. But some scientists have raised flags about his research. Civil-rights attorneys say he's the wrong person for the training. My report: http://bit.ly/1NWWVds

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POLICY THREATENS POLICE-BRUTALITY INVESTIGATORS WHO REFUSE ORDERS TO CHANGE THEIR FINDINGS: We have some new questions about a Chicago office that looks into police wrongdoing. Last month we brought you the story of an investigator the Independent Police Review Authority fired after he resisted orders to change findings that several shootings by officers were not justified. Now we’ve learned the office has changed its procedures. Some investigators worry that the changes could hide police misconduct. Here is my WBEZ report: http://bit.ly/1DGawUd
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A Chicago investigator who determined that several civilian shootings by police officers were unjustified was fired after resisting orders to reverse those findings, according to internal records of his agency obtained by WBEZ. His dismissal came less than two weeks after Independent Police Review Authority managers, evaluating his job performance, accused him of “a clear bias against the police.” Since its 2007 creation, IPRA has investigated nearly 400 civilian shootings by officers and found one to be unjustified. Here is my report: http://bit.ly/1JbHMDq
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Chicago shootings and murders are up this year. In many cases, police officers are having a hard time finding witnesses willing to talk. This is not a new problem. It’s a reason Chicago helped pioneer what’s known as community policing — the sort of crime fighting that focuses on trust between officers and residents. But a cornerstone of the city’s approach is crumbling. That cornerstone consists of meetings that bring together residents and cops in police beats across the city. Turnout at those meetings has fallen by more than two-thirds since 2002 and, according to internal police numbers obtained by WBEZ​, it has dropped every year since Mayor Rahm Emanuel took office. http://www.wbez.org/news/despite-tensions-city-lets-police-community-meetings-dwindle-112340
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Undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as kids are making gains. Many are now eligible for work papers and driver’s licenses. But when it comes to paying for college, they still face big barriers. In Illinois, undocumented students are ineligible for financial aid from either the state or federal government. To get their degrees, they have to get creative. Here's my story about a Mexican-born 22-year-old who is trying to pay for a semester at a community college by competing in a beauty pageant: http://bit.ly/1SvH6ve
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