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

Democrats Running For Circuit Court Clerk Vow Digitization, Accountability, Debt Relief

Candidates aim to replace Dorothy Brown as head of $100-million-per-year office that is largely ignored by voters.

WBEZ News

Justices Seem Eager To Trim Jury Award For Whistleblower Who Sought Tougher Police Oversight

Illinois appellate panel shows sympathy for Chicago attorneys trying to slash $2.8 million awarded to misconduct investigator fired in 2015.

WBEZ News

Could Eddie Johnson Face More Fallout From Scandal That Got Him Fired?

His dismissal as Chicago’s police superintendent may not be the end of it.

WBEZ News

Community Groups: 6-Month Suspension Way Too Lenient For Sergeant Who Shot Disabled Teen

Chicago Police Sgt. Khalil Muhammad accepts suspension, agrees to disciplinary charges he used deadly force “without lawful justification.”

WBEZ News

Sergeant Gets 6-Month Suspension Despite A Finding He Had No Reason To Shoot Teen With Mental Disabilities

Chicago Police Sgt. Khalil Muhammad accepts suspension, agrees to disciplinary charges he used deadly force “without lawful justification.”

WBEZ News

In Firing Top Cop, City Loses Leverage To Force Him To Answer Questions

Chicago inspector general’s office says it can still compel Eddie Johnson to be interviewed. The ex-superintendent’s lawyer is not so sure.

WBEZ News

Mayor Says She’ll Likely Release Investigation Materials Behind Top Cop’s Dismissal

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said city Inspector General Joe Ferguson’s probe led her to dismiss police Supt. Eddie Johnson.

WBEZ News

Fired Top Cop Admits ‘Lapse’ But Denies Deceiving Mayor

After his dismissal, former Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson admits a “poor decision” the night he was found asleep in his vehicle.

WBEZ News

Lightfoot Fires Top Cop, Accuses Him Of Lying To Her

The Chicago mayor boots police Superintendent Eddie Johnson just weeks before his scheduled retirement.

WBEZ News

Chicago Police Commander Who Used Police Station ATM To Steal Seeks Probation

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

WBEZ News

As Police Narrative Evolves, Family Of Teen Shot By Suburban Cop Files Lawsuit

Lane Tech student’s parents say they're trying to learn why "an innocent bystander would be shot by a suburban police officer in the city."

WBEZ News

CPD: Des Plaines Officer The Only One Shooting Inside Music Store

Authorities found 12 shell casings from the gun of the officer who shot the alleged bank robber and a bystander on Chicago’s Northwest Side.

WBEZ News

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.

WBEZ News

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.

WBEZ News

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.

WBEZ News

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.

WBEZ News

Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson To Announce Retirement

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

WBEZ News

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.

WBEZ News

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.

WBEZ News

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.

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