Marshall Project Originals
What’s a Hate Crime? Depends on Where You Live
A hodgepodge of state and local laws makes some violence a hate crime in some places, but not in others.
Four Suicides in L.A. and the Mental Health Problem in Law Enforcement
Four suspected suicides in the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department highlight a problem affecting agencies across the country.
They Shot at Police. Were They Standing Their Ground?
No-knock raids often end in tragedy — and some civilians face prosecution for shooting back.
How Wealth and Privilege Helped One Man Hide His Serial Abuse
Life seemed golden for Leon Jacob. Then he hired a hit man to kill his ex-girlfriend. His classmate exposes how the system repeatedly failed to stop him.
What Federal Judges’ Rulings Reveal About the Memphis Police Tactics
Five judges in recent years have found that officers violated residents’ constitutional rights during traffic and pedestrian stops.
When Police Kill and Use Victims’ Rights Laws to Stay Anonymous
The shooting of an Ohio pregnant woman is the latest case of police using Marsy’s Law to shield officers.
Cruel Summer: When Basic Survival Can Become Illegal
Extreme heat heightens the tensions between homeless communities and the police.
What the Fight Over Atlanta’s ‘Cop City’ Reveals About Policing of Protests
Opponents of the proposed police training facility have launched a petition for a vote — and some face charges as domestic terrorists.
Three Years After George Floyd’s Murder, Police Reforms Are Slow-Paced
There have been mostly modest changes following protests that galvanized the country in 2020.
How Tech Like ShotSpotter Thrives Despite Public Pushback
Police around the country have invested in the gunshot-detection system using Covid relief dollars.
What Irvo Otieno’s Killing Tells Us about Mental Healthcare in the U.S.
The system can end up prosecuting patients and relying on police — with sometimes fatal results.
Have Clevelanders Lost Interest in Police Reforms?
Residents say city officials have not kept them in the loop on federal oversight progress.
Aggressive Policing in Memphis Goes Far Beyond the Scorpion Unit
Data shows Memphis police arrested more people – mostly Black men – than other Tennessee cities.
What the Panic Over Shoplifting Reveals About American Crime Policy
Lawmakers consider bills to crack down on people ripping off retailers, even as some stores walk back claims about a growing theft problem.
Cleveland Police Removed Officer Names from Discipline Notices
Officials say the move prevents officer shaming. But does it raise transparency issues?
Calls Grow Louder to Restore Cuyahoga County Sheriff to an Elected Post
Some blame turnover of appointed sheriffs on added layers of bureaucracy.
Biden Promised a Police Misconduct Database. He’s Yet to Deliver.
In the aftermath of Tyre Nichols’ killing, some are questioning the administration’s urgency on police reform.
‘You Ain’t No Big Man’: Videos Show Disparities in Cleveland Police Response to Kids in Crisis
Body cam footage reveals that officers don’t always follow department guidelines or training.
In an Effort to Diversify, Cleveland Police Look to HBCUs
Amid scrutiny over Cleveland police hiring practices, the department has been scouting Historically Black Colleges and Universities to help fix its image. Not everyone is on board.
Some of Our Best Work of 2022
From coverage of prison violence and abuses in a juvenile lockup to investigations by our new Cleveland team, our reporters told stories that made a difference.
Mental Health Care is Broken. Is Police Hospitalizing More People the Answer?
In New York City and other areas across the country some leaders are pushing to forcefully commit more people.
What San Francisco’s Killer Robots Debate Tells Us About Policing
Among unanswered questions: How will the courts treat cases that involve police robots?
Ohio Lawmaker Wants Law Requiring Police to Record Race During Traffic Stops
The Cleveland Democrat says “the only way we can make systemic change is with the data.”
As Police Arrest More Seniors, Those With Dementia Face Deadly Consequences
Many cities are changing how they respond to mental health calls, but less attention has been paid to the unique risks for people with Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases.
How a Wealthy Cleveland Suburb Profits From Ticketing Black Drivers
Black Clevelanders say Bratenahl police have targeted them for years.
We Surveyed U.S. Sheriffs. See Their Views on Power, Race and Immigration
In an exclusive new survey, The Marshall Project found that sheriffs are key to our debates on policing, immigration and much more.
Does Your Sheriff Think He’s More Powerful Than the President?
Richard Mack has built a “Constitutional sheriff” movement to resist state and federal authority on guns, COVID-19 and now election results. A new survey shows just how many sheriffs agree with him.
We Spent a Year Following a Troubled Police Force. Listen to the Entire Podcast Series
“Changing the Police,” a podcast from The Marshall Project and NPR’s Embedded, examines what one community wants from its cops.
Biden Struck Out on Police Reform. Is Trump’s Remaining Policy Enough?
With Biden halting a proposed policing order, Trump’s modest changes are the most significant federal policing moves since George Floyd’s murder.
“Wild: Bird of Paradise” Envisions a World Without Prisons or Police
The final installment of Jeremy McQueen’s dance film explores the challenges and fears of being a young Black man in New York City.
The Marshall Project Founder Neil Barsky to Step Down as Board Chair
Liz Simons announced as next chair for Pulitzer Prize-winning nonprofit newsroom covering criminal justice.
Violent Encounters With Police Send Thousands of People to the ER Every Year
That's probably an undercount. But data from San Jose offers a glimpse of what the national scale of police violence might be.
“He Died Like an Animal”: Some Police Departments Hogtie People Despite Knowing The Risks
The U.S. Department of Justice in 1995 warned that people may die when police tie handcuffed wrists to bound ankles.
“Nobody Wants to Be Identified as a Victim”
Oakland activist Carl Chan reveals how fear of retaliation, mistrust of police, language barriers and technology gaps fuel underreporting of anti-Asian violence.
Murders Rose Last Year. Black and Hispanic Neighborhoods Were Hit Hardest.
A COVID-strained social safety net. Entrenched distrust between cops and communities of color. "2020 was a tinderbox."
The City Where Police Unleash Dogs On Black Teens
In Baton Rouge, police dogs bit a teenager 17 or younger every three weeks, on average.
The Rise and Fall of a Celebrity Police Dog
Obi had thousands of Instagram followers for being "cute and derpy." His work on the streets of Indianapolis was another matter.
Cops Could Use First Aid to Save Lives. Many Never Try.
Most officers get training to respond to injuries, but are often not required to use it.
What Biden’s Win Means for the Future of Criminal Justice
Joe Biden ran on the most progressive criminal justice platform of any major party candidate in generations. So what can he actually do?
The Future of Policing
What do advocates mean when they call for “defunding,” “abolishing” or “reimagining” the police?
Race and Policing
Police forces in the U.S. were originally founded to secure private property—including human beings.
Alabama’s Ugly Secret: Police Dog Attacks
Law enforcement releases little information about their K-9s, despite injuries and death.
The City Where Someone Was Bitten by a Police Dog Every 5 Days
Why K-9s in Indianapolis have mauled so many people—and why that may change.
5 Takeaways From Our Investigation of Indianapolis Police Dogs
It has the highest rate of bites per population among the largest cities in the U.S.
We Spent A Year Investigating Police Dogs. Here Are Six Takeaways.
Reporting by The Marshall Project and our media partners exposes the damage police dogs inflict across the U.S.
When Police Violence Is a Dog Bite
An Alabama man killed by a K-9 officer was one of thousands of Americans bitten by police dogs every year. Few ever get justice.
RBG’s Mixed Record on Race and Criminal Justice
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a revered feminist icon. Her legacy on issues such as prisoners’ rights, capital punishment, racial justice and tribal sovereignty has been less examined.
Why It’s Not So Simple To Arrest The Cops Who Shot Breonna Taylor
Memes and billboards are calling for arresting the three officers. But what does Kentucky law say?
One Roadblock to Police Reform: Veteran Officers Who Train Recruits
Field trainers "are part of the old guard of the department. They teach the old way of doing things."
What Are Cops Really Thinking When Routine Arrests Turn Violent?
“You have to use a lot of force, or you are going to die.”
These Political Candidates Are Embracing Their Criminal Records
A group of 2020 hopefuls say their first-hand experience with the justice system makes them best suited to fix it.
“It Was An Execution”: Nicolas Chavez Was On His Knees When Police Killed Him. His Father Wants Answers.
The Houston shooting has sparked more questions about use of force and what many experts call the failed promise of police body cameras.
Support For Defunding The Police Department Is Growing. Here’s Why It’s Not A Silver Bullet.
Past budget cuts have had unintended consequences. Now, proponents say it’s time to fundamentally reimagine the role of the police.
Have COVID-19? Cops May Have Your Neighborhood on a “Heat Map”
Critics call high-tech maps overreach, but police say they keep officers safe.
From Michael Brown to George Floyd: What We’ve Learned About Policing
Stories from The Marshall Project’s archives that shine a light on police, violence and racial inequality in America
Police Arrested Fewer People During Coronavirus Shutdowns—Even Fewer Were White
Racial disparities grew in five cities as arrests fell, according to our new data analysis.
Why So Many Police Are Handling the Protests Wrong
Disproportionate use of force can turn a peaceful protest violent, research shows.
Before George Floyd’s Death, Minneapolis Police Failed to Adopt Reforms, Remove Bad Officers
The department allows officers to use choke holds barred in other cities.
D.C. Cops Balance Bravado and Caution During COVID-19 Pandemic
Police across the country “have to be realistic about what we can and can’t do.”
Desperate for Recruits, Police Consider Non-Citizens
Tattoos, beards and past drug use are okay. What next?
When You’re the Only Cop in Town
A photographer follows three lone officers who deal with drugs, domestic violence and wayward bears in their communities.
Trump Justice, Year One: The Demolition Derby
Here are nine ways the law-and-order president has smashed Obama’s legacy.
“If Someone is Bringing Drugs into Mar-a-Lago, Police Could Try to Seize it.”
Donald Trump faces a fight on asset forfeiture.
Why Jeff Sessions Should Police the Police
Consent decrees can improve law enforcement even in cities that aren’t investigated.
Chicago’s Ousted Top Cop Talks to Common About Race, Guns and Mistrust
A new docu-series, ‘America Divided,’ explores inequality, issue by issue.
The Most Dangerous Neighborhood, the Most Inexperienced Cops
In Chicago and elsewhere, rookies are cannon fodder while vets police the safer neighborhoods.
Dallas’s Deputy Chief on Race, Despair, and Learning from Police Shootings
“My life has to matter, too.”
My Life With Settlement Cash After Cops Killed My Husband
“Men in suits would sit there and actually talk about what my husband's life was worth.”
Who Loves Pokémon Go? The Police.
Officers seize on the latest craze for fun — and plenty of safety tips.
Is Philando Castile the Ultimate Casualty of Driving While Black?
On paper, he looked like a career criminal. But look closer.
Are Traffic Stops Prone to Racial Bias?
An attempt to find out confronts a frayed patchwork of data across the country.
Four San Francisco Cops Talk About the Problems Plaguing Their Department
Five shootings, a text scandal, a hunger strike, and now a new boss.
Nothing But The Truth
A radical new interrogation technique is transforming the art of detective work: Shut up and let the suspect do the talking.
David Clarke, the Trump-loving, pro-mass-incarceration Fox News favorite, is challenging criminal-justice reform—and stereotypes.
Should Hard-line Prosecutors Be Nervous?
After voters oust two prosecutors for failing to hold police accountable, maybe.
Policing the Future
In the aftermath of Michael Brown's death, St. Louis cops embrace crime-predicting software.
Philly's Retiring Police Commissioner on Facing Corruption and What People Get Wrong about Police Shootings
“There are two things cops don’t like – the way things are, and change.”
Will the ‘21 Foot’ Defense Work for the Chicago Cop Who Shot Laquan McDonald?
Revisiting a 30-year concept that is used to justify deadly force.
America’s Rock Star Cops
Meet the elite chiefs who revolutionized policing nationwide, for better and for worse. Now they want to do it again.
How the Supreme Court Made It Legal for Cops to Pull You Over for Just About Anything
Even hanging an air freshener.
Lessons for Bratton on How to Recruit Black Officers
A conversation with Atlanta’s Chief of Police, George Turner.
‘They Didn’t Believe the Camels Were Ours’
What a journalist’s seven-year walk around the world reveals about global policing.
‘People Think We're Out to Get Everyone.’
An Ohio cop of 17 years on drug laws, body cameras, and the police’s race problem.
Dollree Mapp, 1923-2014: “The Rosa Parks of the Fourth Amendment”
A black woman stood up to white police, and made history.