An introduction

To new followers and old friends.

Hello and welcome. Some of you reading this will have discovered me through my coverage of the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis. Others might be wondering why I’m writing a re-introduction to myself. The answer: More than 1,000 people followed me on Twitter in the week and a half I was in Minneapolis, and I want them to see a sampling of my work. 

For the uninitiated, I’ve been reporting on American crime, life and death for 10 years, since I began at my hometown newspaper in Peoria, Illinois. From there, I worked at a newspaper in northern Minnesota where I covered issues affecting the Native American community, primarily homelessness, and then had a tiny stay at a paper in North Dakota before setting out as a freelancer in 2013. Since then I’ve covered police shootings and unrest in Ferguson and across the country, crime, police killings and misconduct in Chicago, national breaking news events including the Las Vegas massacre, extensive immigration coverage from the border, money-in-politics watchdog journalism, and, of course, the never-ending story of American death. I write regularly for The Daily Beast, and have appeared in The New York Times, the Washington Post, Esquire, the Guardian and more. Recently, I’ve also written some food and lifestyle features for Heated Mag and InsideHook.

Just before Minneapolis, I covered the killing of Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia, a little more than an hour south from my home in Savannah.  

I planned to spend this summer working on Unsolved Georgia, an investigation I launched in November of the murders of more than 600 women killed throughout the state since 1976. But because that project means so much to me, and because I want to do right by the victims, I’ve put Unsolved on hold. That’s because the story of the moment —police killings and the activist response to them, which will now become a focal point of the race for the White House — would drastically overshadow any progress I could have made in investigating hundreds of unsolved murders. 

I’ll now be focusing my efforts on police killings. Having covered so many of them over the years, I’m particularly well-suited to take on this assignment, which will entail diving into the more than 460 fatal police shootings — to say nothing of other fatal altercations — that have occurred as of mid-June.

This is my newsletter, Where Do We Go From Here, which often contains the extras from my stories. I’m heading to Atlanta now to cover the killing of Rayshard Brooks. Thanks for stopping by.