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


Victims Of Domestic Violence Move From Shelters To Hotels

To remove residents from tight living quarters, 12 women’s shelters in Cook County will soon receive $10,000 each in private funding.


Homicides And Shootings Are Down As The City Stays At Home To Avoid Virus

Chicago Police reported only one gun death in the past 7 days. The last time Chicago had a one-homicide week was in 2015.


During The Pandemic, Low-Level Drug Cases Won’t Be Prosecuted In Cook County

State’s Attorney Kim Foxx says the policy aims to protect public health but her top deputy points to a cutback in Illinois narcotics tests.


Chicago Cops Don't Know How To Enforce The New COVID-19 Order

Officers slam the mayor’s plan for them to enforce a public-health order requiring people with coronavirus symptoms to stay home.


Kim Foxx Easily Defeats A Big Money Challenger

Conway called the incumbent and conceded the race, a Foxx spokeswoman said Tuesday at about 9:30 p.m.


Guilty Verdict In Shomari Legghette’s Slaying Of Chicago Police Cmdr. Paul Bauer

Legghette, found guilty of first-degree murder, likely will spend the rest of his life in prison.


30 Votes Make The Difference In Police Union Election, But Incumbent Still Faces Runoff

Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 President Kevin Graham now in head-to-head race against the first round’s top-finisher, John Catanzara.


In Chicago’s Police Union Election, A Race To The Right

It may seem like the Fraternal Order of Police’s Lodge 7 could not be more combative. But the race’s frontrunners say they’ll make it so.


Defense: Slain Police Commander ‘Brought It On Himself’

The lawyer for the man charged with murdering Chicago police Cmdr. Paul Bauer tells the jury the officer never identified himself as a cop.


To Kim Foxx’s Core Supporters, The Jussie Smollett Scandal Is A Distraction

Advocates who helped elect the state’s attorney say Smollett is small fry next to the Jon Burge torture scandal of prior administrations.


Jussie Smollett Asks Illinois Supreme Court To Pause New Criminal Case

The former “Empire” actor pleads not guilty to disorderly conduct charges after alleged hoax tied up Chicago detectives for weeks last year.


Police Board Defies Lightfoot, Refuses To Say Why It Didn’t Fire Sergeant Who Shot Autistic Teen

Chicago mayor called on board to explain why it’s keeping Sgt. Khalil Muhammad on the force after finding that the shooting was unjustified.


13 More Convictions Tied To Corrupt Chicago Cops Overturned

The tossed cases tied to corrupt former Sgt. Ronald Watts now total 95 involving 75 different people.


After Off-Duty Sergeant Shot Autistic Teen, Police Board Failed To Review Key Evidence

Civilian panel that decides on serious Chicago police discipline cases OK'd deal that keeps cop on the force despite unjustified shooting.


Jury Foreperson ‘Angry’ With Appeals Court For Slashing Award For Police-Misconduct Whistleblower

The foreperson is upset about an Illinois appellate order that cut Lorenzo Davis’s $2 million award for emotional distress to $100,000.


Justices Slash Jury Award For Whistleblower Who Sought Tougher Police Oversight

Illinois appellate court sides with City of Chicago lawyers who said $2 million was too much for Lorenzo Davis’s distress after 2015 firing.


Jussie Smollett Celebrity Scandal Dominates State’s Attorney Candidate Forum

The case consumed half of a Chicago Tribune event with top prosecutor Kim Foxx and her three Democratic challengers.


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.


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.


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.

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