On The Media

Policing Gangs Through Rap Videos

Friday, January 17, 2014

In New York City, 30 percent of all shootings are tied to youth gang rivalries. There are over 300 street crews in the city, loosely affiliated gangs that battle mainly over turf. The rivalries often play out in rap videos made by the gangs and posted on YouTube. Those videos - and threats of violence in their lyrics - are being used as evidence by New York City police to make arrests. Brooke talks with WNYC reporter Kathleen Horan about this policing technique. 


On The Media

Rap Lyrics as Evidence

Friday, January 17, 2014

This coming week, the Supreme Court of New Jersey will consider an appeal of a 2008 that found Vonte Skinner guilty of attempted murder. On what evidence? Inconsistent eyewitness testimony, and rap lyrics written by Skinner. The lyrics didn’t reference the victim or any details of the crime. Bob speaks with Professor Charis Kubrin who studies the surprisingly common use of rap lyrics as evidence, and co-wrote an Op Ed in the New York Times last week called “Rap Lyrics on Trial.” 

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On The Media

Homicide Watch

Friday, August 17, 2012

This week came news that the Homicide Watch D.C. might go on hiatus because its founder and proprietor Laura Amico has been awarded the Nieman-Berkman fellowship. Amico is attempting to keep Homicide Watch alive with a Kickstarter campaign to turn the website into a teaching lab for burgeoning crime reporters. In this interview from November, 2011 Brooke talks to Amico about the site's mission and how it works.

You can find the Homicide Watch Kickstarter campaign by following this link.

Ballake Sissoko & Vincent Segal - O

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On The Media

Website Tracks D.C. Homicides in Real Time

Friday, November 04, 2011

When Laura Amico launched the website Homicide Watch D.C., her intent was to create a comprehensive record of all the murders in the District. Little more than a year later, the site has become more than a somber document for posterity: it's a bona fide newsbreaker, often identifying victims before police do.

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