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

Study: Cops Overstate Effects Of Social Media On Gang Violence

A sociologist finds that authorities in Chicago “massively overestimate” link from online insults and threats to physical attacks.

WBEZ News

Ex-Police Sergeant Charged With Beating Outside Bar Gets Stiff Bond

A judge sets a $250,000 bail for recently retired Chicago Sgt. Eric J. Elkins, who faces felony charges after a violent altercation.

WBEZ News

Van Dyke's Lawyer Vows To Appeal His Conviction

The imprisoned ex-Chicago cop who killed Laquan McDonald will seek 'outright reversal' of the verdict instead of a retrial, his lawyer says.

WBEZ News

Prosecutors To Fight Innocence Certificate For Alleged Police Torture Survivor

James Gibson, 52, spent nearly three decades behind bars for a double-murder conviction.

WBEZ News

Retired Cops Housing Brother On Bail In 1989 Double Murder

Former Chicago officers Sandra and Richard Wooten have a room in their South Side home for her brother James Gibson, who awaits a retrial.

WBEZ News

Commander: Sergeant Had Duty To Reject False Reports About McDonald Shooting

A Chicago police commander testifies against sergeant who OKed report that Laquan McDonald “injured” Jason Van Dyke.

WBEZ News

Cops Facing Dismissal Double Down On Reports That Laquan Was A Threat

Three of the four Chicago officers recommended for dismissal for allegedly lying about Laquan McDonald’s killing testified Wednesday.

WBEZ News

Police Board Finally To Hear Evidence Of Alleged Cover-Up For Van Dyke

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson is recommending the dismissal of four officers accused of lying about Laquan McDonald’s killing.

WBEZ News

Emanuel Ally Ariel Reboyras Poised To Keep Northwest Side Ward

Reboyras, who leads Jessica Gutierrez, says it was his hardest campaign since 2003, when Mayor Richard M. Daley ushered him into office.

WBEZ News

Lightfoot’s ‘Lax’ Response To Fatal Fire Led To Sanctions By Judge

Lori Lightfoot, who’s running for Chicago mayor, was blamed for city’s failure to turn over evidence after 2004 blaze that killed four kids.

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.

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