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

WBEZ News

Illinois Supreme Court Upholds Jason Van Dyke Sentencing

The state attorney general asked the justices to order a redo of the former Chicago police officer’s sentencing for killing Laquan McDonald.

WBEZ News

Lightfoot To City: Release Laquan Shooting Records

Chicago mayoral hopeful calls for release of records from inspector general’s probe of alleged cover-up for police Officer Jason Van Dyke.

WBEZ News

Lightfoot, Preckwinkle Both Vow Massive Investments To Take On Gun Violence

Chicago’s mayoral runoff candidates also say they’re opposed to a $95 million police training facility planned for the West Side.

WBEZ News

Illinois Supreme Court To Rule On Jason Van Dyke’s Sentence Next Week

The state attorney general asked the justices to order a redo of the former Chicago police officer’s sentencing for killing Laquan McDonald.

WBEZ News

Police Board Delays Hearing On Proposed Laquan McDonald Firings

Four officers on the scene during the teenager’s fatal shooting face dismissal charges in the alleged cover-up for Officer Jason Van Dyke.

WBEZ News

Chicago Murder Numbers Back To Pre-2016 Levels

New figures released by the Chicago Police Department on Friday show 44 murders so far in 2019.

WBEZ News

Chicago’s 30th Ward: Reboyras, Gutierrez Appear Headed For April Runoff

Ald. Ariel Reboyras held a narrow lead over Jessica Washington Gutierrez, the daughter of retired U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez.

WBEZ News

For These First-Time Aldermanic Candidates, Public Safety Is Personal

We caught up with three first-time aldermanic candidates to hear how the city’s violence affects them.

WBEZ News

Aurora Vigil Gathers Mourners At Site Of Gun Rampage

More than 1,000 people took part in a vigil outside an Aurora manufacturing plant where five people were fatally shot Friday.

WBEZ News

Feds Confirm Van Dyke Suffered ‘Assault’ In Their Custody

But officials are not answering why the high-profile inmate was transferred from an Illinois prison or who had access to him.

WBEZ News

Van Dyke’s Attorneys Appealing Conviction After Challenge To His Sentence

Lawyers for Jason Van Dyke, the Chicago cop who killed Laquan McDonald, blast prosecutor and Illinois’ attorney general for challenging sentence.

WBEZ News

AG, Prosecutor Ask Supreme Court To Order Redo Of Van Dyke Sentencing

Attorney General Kwame Raoul and prosecutor Joseph McMahon take on sentencing that would let the ex-Chicago cop out in three years.

WBEZ News

Inspector General: Public Lacks Full Story On Laquan McDonald Shooting

Chicago IG Joseph Ferguson calls on city to release records from his 2016 probe into the police department’s handling of the shooting.

WBEZ News

Prosecutor, AG Consider Challenge To Van Dyke’s Sentence

Joseph McMahon has 45-minute call with Kwame Raoul about sentence that could allow the former police officer’s release in three years.

WBEZ News

Prosecutor Mulls Challenging Van Dyke’s Sentence

Special Prosecutor Joseph McMahon joins the attorney general in reviewing the punishment handed down by Judge Vincent Gaughan.

WBEZ News

Jason Van Dyke’s Sentence Under Review By Illinois Attorney General

Kwame Raoul won’t say what he thinks of the 81 months for Laquan McDonald’s killer but his office is doing a “careful review” of the case.

WBEZ News

Experts: Van Dyke Should Make Statement At Sentencing — If It Sounds Sincere

The ex-Chicago cop could reduce any prison time by convincing the judge he feels bad about Laquan McDonald’s death, courthouse veterans say.

WBEZ News

96 Years Or Probation? Van Dyke’s Attorneys Clash With Prosecutor On Sentencing

A battle over how severely the former Chicago police officer should be sentenced for killing Laquan McDonald begins with dueling briefs.

WBEZ News

Civil Rights Lawyer On Police Cover-Up Trial: Why Weren’t Bosses Charged?

The judge for three officers charged with a cover-up in Laquan McDonald’s killing has scheduled their verdict for Jan. 15.

WBEZ News

Attorneys For Van Dyke Appeal Won Acquittal For Cop Who Killed Rekia Boyd

Darren O’Brien and Jennifer Blagg defended Dante Servin, the Chicago detective cleared in the 2012 fatal shooting of Boyd, an unarmed woman.

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