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Records WORK


     I found systemic loopholes in the way Colorado polices untruthful law enforcement officers. I found 15 officials who have a verified finding of untruthfulness from an internal affairs or criminal inquiry. All of these officers still have licenses to be peace officers elsewhere - if a department will hire them.

     I combined web scraping and months of blanketing the state with records requests to create the database that was the backbone of our investigation. I was the lead reporter on this collaboration and wrote the lion’s share of the web story. 

     The piece was published in May 2024 by Colorado Public Radio. I went on Colorado Matters, their flagship radio program, shortly afterwards to discuss my reporting.


    After an ordinance intended to wipe out illicit massage parlors in Aurora, Colorado was passed, I found they were able to easily reopen across city lines. I did this through a series of records requests from Aurora and connected the locations through business filings. The series was published in August 2019.      

     In August 2020, the Denver district attorney announced an international human trafficking investigation built off our findings. Seven people and 12 businesses were indicted on 33 charges by a grand jury. 14 women were freed because of the investigation.

     In July 2021, Denver City Council unanimously passed a bill requiring massage businesses in Denver to be licensed in an effort to prevent human trafficking.

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     The Denver police department's SWAT team searched Ruby Johnson’s home, where she has lived for 40 years, looking for a car, guns and cash that had been stolen from a downtown Denver hotel days earlier.

     They did not find anything, but did traumatize Johnson. The story prompted the American Civil Liberties Union to sue the detective that created the warrant.  
A jury awarded Johnson $3.76 million for damages in March 2024.

     I broke these stories and other outlets later followed. I conducted a months-long investigation into Denver Police SWAT knock-and-announce warrants and found that they occur more often in minority neighborhoods. 

     I utilized Colorado's open records law to break the news that kids in Denver Public Schools were being handcuffed. Continued records work revealed the initial number was a severe undercount and was actually nearly triple the original number. And, students of color were being disproportionately handcuffed.

     The investigation led to a change of policy so handcuffs are now used way less often. The May 2019 story was nominated for a 2020 Heartland Regional Emmy.

    I led the FOIA fight at ABC News for a "20/20" investigation published in May 2018. I spent months coordinating efforts to acquire criminal and court records from 30 major American cities.

    I discovered inconsistent national tracking of criminals on ankle bracelet monitors. There is a risk they may commit another crime. 50 murders were committed since 2012 by people wearing the device. The full scope of my work is displayed beginning of the segment at 27:08.


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