Chip Mitchell | WBEZ
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Chip Mitchell

Chip Mitchell

Criminal Justice Reporter

Based at WBEZ’s studio on Chicago’s West Side, Chip focuses on policing, gun violence and underground business. His investigative and narrative work has earned dozens of local and national honors. In 2017, 2015 and 2013, the Chicago Headline Club (the nation’s largest Society of Professional Journalists chapter) gave him its annual award for “best reporter” in broadcast radio.

He has won two first-place National Headliner Awards, one for 2014 reporting that led to a felony indictment of Chicago’s most celebrated police commander, another for a short 2013 documentary about a Chicago heroin supply chain through Mexico and Texas. Other honors have come from Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Scripps Howard Foundation, the Sidney Hillman Foundation, the Radio Television Digital News Association (Edward R. Murrow awards), the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation/Better Government Association, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated, the National Association of Black Journalists, the Illinois Associated Press and Public Narrative (Studs Terkel award).

He has also reported as part of award-winning WBEZ collaborations with the California-based Center for Investigative Reporting and the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Public Integrity.

Before Chip joined WBEZ in 2006, his base for three years was Bogotá, Colombia. He reported from conflict zones around that war-torn country and from numerous other Latin American nations. Topics ranged from national elections to guinea-pig meat exports to bus rapid transit. The stories reached U.S. audiences through PRI’s The World, NPR’s Morning Edition, the BBC, the Dallas Morning News, the Christian Science Monitor and the Committee to Protect Journalists.

From 1995 to 2003, Chip focused on immigration and U.S. roles in Latin America as editor of Connection to the Americas, winner of the 2003 Utne Independent Press Award for “general excellence” among newsletters nationwide. In 1995, the Milwaukee Press Club named one of Chip’s stories for the Madison newspaper Isthmus the year’s best investigative report in Wisconsin. The story examined a fatal shooting by narcotics officers in a rural mobile-home park. In 1992, he co-founded two daily news shows broadcast ever since on Madison’s community radio station, WORT.

Chip was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. He earned a B.A. in History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He lives in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood with his partner and their daughter.

Recent Stories


Feds: Imprison Police Commander 2 Years For Stealing

Kenneth Johnson, who led the Englewood district, pleaded guilty to taking his mother’s Social Security payments for 23 years after she died.


Judge Denies Detective’s Request For His Record To Be Cleared Of Rekia Boyd Killing

A Cook County judge refuses to expunge ex-Chicago Det. Dante Servin’s arrest and felony charges despite his acquittal after shooting Boyd.


Can The Right Superintendent Fix What’s Wrong With Policing In Chicago?

The next top cop must restore community trust, rebuild officer morale and reduce gun violence. The question is whether anyone can deliver.


Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson Will Retire

Mayor Lori Lightfoot is expected to name former LA Police Chief Charlie Beck interim leader until a full-time replacement is found.


Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson To Announce Retirement

Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson will announce he's retiring as the city’s top cop.


Top Cop Contemplates Retiring, Insists He’s Not Worried About Driving Incident

Eddie Johnson points to health troubles during his nearly four years as Chicago police superintendent.


Top Cop To Defend Proposed 7% Hike To Police Budget

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson goes before aldermen Monday as city faces huge budget gap and calls for his ouster.


Here’s Why Chicago Police Solve So Few Of The City’s Murders

To solve more, the Police Department says it’s adopting dozens of recommendations from a Washington-based group.


Alone On The Tarmac With President Donald Trump

When Trump exited Air Force One for his Chicago speech, only one local official welcomed him. It wasn’t the mayor or the Illinois governor.


Top Cop Defends Tenure And Wins Key Support

Supt. Eddie Johnson met with religious leaders Wednesday after missing a planned meeting Friday. In recent weeks Johnson has faced increased questions about his leadership of the Chicago Police Department.


15 Pastors Leave Before Hearing Out Top Cop On Police Misconduct

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson was playing defense again Friday afternoon after arriving so late for a West Side meeting with religious leaders that most of them were gone before he got there.


Clock Ticking On Federal Charges In Laquan Shooting And Cover-Up

The five-year anniversary of McDonald’s killing this Sunday means a window is closing on some additional charges in the case.


Newly Released Documents Detail Top Cop’s Role In Shooting That Shook Chicago

When Johnson saw video of Officer Jason Van Dyke killing Laquan McDonald, he didn’t object to a narrative that the shooting was justified.


Lightfoot Releases ‘Cover-up’ Records In Laquan McDonald Shooting

The Chicago mayor fulfills a campaign vow to disclose documents in the city’s probe of how CPD handled Officer Jason Van Dyke’s shooting.


Chicago Murders Less Likely To Be Solved If The Victim Is Black

City data over 19 months show police solved 47% of murders with white victims and 22% with black victims.


Special Prosecutor Investigating Kim Foxx Allowed To Stay On Despite Funding Her 2016 Campaign

The prosecutor, Dan K. Webb, was appointed to look at why the state’s attorney dropped charges against former Empire actor Jussie Smollett.


Third Man Convicted In Slaying of 9-Year-Old Tyshawn Lee

A Cook County jury finds Corey Morgan guilty of first-degree murder. He’s the third person convicted in the execution-style killing.


Special Prosecutor Investigating Kim Foxx Helped Fund Her Campaign

The prosecutor, Dan K. Webb, was appointed to look at why the state’s attorney dropped charges against ex-‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett.


Despite Lightfoot Vow, City To Withhold Most Records On ‘Cover-up’ For Van Dyke

Chicago officials say they’ll release records “as soon as Thursday” but not nearly as many as promised by Lightfoot during her mayoral run.


Lightfoot Adds Gang-Outreach Veteran To New Public Safety Office

Norman Livingston Kerr wants anti-violence ‘sustainability’ but his staff will be tiny until the mayor lifts a freeze on city hiring.

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