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

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.

WBEZ News

Current CPD Detective Labeled ‘Co-Conspirator’ In Cover-Up Trial

In a court filing, prosecutors say Detective Thomas J. McDonagh tried to involve police bosses in Van Dyke’s legal defense.

WBEZ News

Judge May Not Allow Police Emails In Cover-Up Trial

In trial of 3 Chicago cops charged with conspiracy to protect Jason Van Dyke, prosecutors point to emails of “unindicted co-conspirators.”

WBEZ News

Charged With Covering Up For Van Dyke, 3 More Cops To Go On Trial

The officers face conspiracy charges for their reporting on Laquan McDonald’s killing.

WBEZ News

Ousted By Voters, A Judge Counts His Blessings And Lashes Back At Critics

The first Cook County judge in decades to be rejected for retention denies his decisions on the bench were racially biased.

WBEZ News

Van Dyke Lawyer Wants Sentencing To Exclude Battery Counts

The attorney for the jailed former Chicago police officer says he’ll argue for sentencing based on second-degree murder alone.

WBEZ News

Reluctantly, Cop To Be A Key Witness In Police Cover-Up Trial

Prosecutors: Officer to testify detective told her to report that Laquan McDonald had injured Jason Van Dyke, the cop who killed the teen.

WBEZ News

Sheriff Puts Van Dyke Under Observation In Jail’s Infirmary

A sheriff’s spokeswoman says the officer, convicted in Laquan McDonald’s death, has a cell to himself in Cermak Health Services, where he can be watch more closely.

Morning Edition

Lawyers To Present Defense For Officer Accused Of Killing Black Teenager

Attorneys for a white Chicago police officer on trial for murder will likely begin presenting his side Monday. Jason Van Dyke fired 16 shots at Laquan McDonald in 2014.

16 Shots

Ep 3: The Fallout

Protesters take to the streets. Critics attack the mayor and police department. A federal probe finds a pattern of abuse by Chicago cops.

16 Shots

Ep 2: Pattern & Practice

The fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald aggravated longstanding tensions between Chicago police and the city’s black residents. We look at how a troubled police department spun a narrative of the shooting, how that narrative fell apart, and how the city reacted when it did.

WBEZ News

Jurors Get Close-Up View Of Chicago Politics In Police Shootings

Deliberations lasted less than an hour before a $2.8 million award to a police misconduct investigator fired by the city.

WBEZ News

For Laughing Courtroom Spectator, Judge Orders Jail Time And Sanity Test

Judge Vincent Gaughan finds man in contempt for odd outburst during murder case against Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke.

WBEZ News

Van Dyke Witness Could Explain Why Police Reports Differed From The Video

A critic of the move said it is an attempt to “take away the sting of a clear video showing there was no justification for the shooting.”

WBEZ News

City Settles Suit In Incident That Put CPD Commander On Trial

Glenn Evans, now a lieutenant, was acquitted of putting a gun down a man’s throat. Now the city is paying $100K to settle the man’s lawsuit.

WBEZ News

City Settles Suit In Incident That Put CPD Commander On Trial

Glenn Evans, now a lieutenant, was acquitted of putting a gun down a man’s throat. Now the city is paying $100K to settle the man’s lawsuit.

WBEZ News

Top Cop: 10 Officers Banned As Witnesses Remain Fit For Police Powers

State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office says those cops lack credibility, but police Supt. Eddie Johnson says he’s not taking away their badge.

WBEZ News

Prosecutor: Slain Police Commander Was Shot 6 Times

Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Guy Lisuzzo said Thursday tests revealed gun residue on the suspect's right hand and jacket pocket.

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