Chicago After Laquan McDonald

Ben Austen, Chicago After Laquan McDonald. The New York Times Magazine, 20 April 2016. “In the wake of a shocking video that showed a black teenager shot 16 times by a police officer, the city is rocked by revelations of police brutality and misconduct–and by activists determined to upend the political order.”

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Chicago Tribune Watchdog Investigation: Cops and Confessions. Chicago police substitute interrogation for thorough investigation

Ken Armstrong, Steve Mills and Maurice Possley, Tribune Watchdog Investigation: Cops and Confessions. Chicago Tribune, 16 December 2001. 6-Part Series, December 2001-January 2002.  Part 1: Coercive and illegal tactics torpedo scores of Cook County murder cases. “Substituting interrogation for thorough investigation, police in Chicago and Cook County have repeatedly closed murder cases with dubious confessions that imprison the innocent while killers go free.” Part 2: Veteran detective’s murder cases unravel. “Some statements cop has extracted stand out for way they fall through.” Part 3: Officers ignore laws set up to guard kids. “Detectives grill minors without juvenile officers or parents present.” Part 4: When jail is no alibi in murders. “Just as [Daniel Taylor] was going to be formally charged with two counts of murder [to which he had previously confessed], Taylor protested to detectives that he could not have committed the crimes because he had been in police custody when they occurred.” Part 5: DNA voids murder confession. By Kirsten Scharnberg and Steve Mills. “In the first case of a videotaped murder confession unraveling in Cook County, a man who was recorded saying he stabbed his mother was freed on Friday after DNA tests linked another man to the crime.” Part 6: Cops urged to tape their interrogations. By Steve Mills and Michael Higgins. “Chicago videotapes only confessions.”

Winner of the 2001 Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Journalism.

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