How a 50s-era Knife Law Sent Thousands of New Yorkers to Jail <br /> (<b><i>Village Voice</i></b> Cover Story)

How a 50s-era Knife Law Sent Thousands of New Yorkers to Jail
(Village Voice Cover Story)

Posted by on Apr 8, 2015 in Investigative/Enterprise, Longform

How a ‘50s-era New York Knife Law Landed Thousands in Jail, Padded Stop and Frisk Numbers, and Brought Right and Left Together   In retrospect, Richard Neal knows he should have just gone home. It was already nearly 4 a.m. on a sticky June night in 2008, and the LaGuardia Houses on the Lower East […]

Mule: Adventures in the Illicit Tobacco Trade <br /> (<b><i>Village Voice</i></b> Cover Story)

Mule: Adventures in the Illicit Tobacco Trade
(Village Voice Cover Story)

Posted by on Apr 7, 2015 in Investigative/Enterprise, Longform

As six armed officers pour out of two unmarked Ford Explorers on a Long Island City street corner, you can see the confusion on the faces of gawkers and passersby. One woman looks up from her phone and does a sitcom-worthy double-take when she notices their windbreakers, embossed with the word “SHERIFF” in big gold […]

The Defense Never Rests<br /> (<b><i>Village Voice</i></b> Cover Story)

The Defense Never Rests
(Village Voice Cover Story)

Posted by on Jan 6, 2015 in Longform, Profile

Mid October, 2014. Stanley Cohen abruptly stops responding to voicemails. When you dial his cell, you hear the telltale sound of an overseas phone call, followed by a hold message in Arabic. Cohen is known to friends and foes alike as an eccentric of the highest order, a foul-mouthed criminal-defense attorney with unruly gray hair, […]

Faking It<br /> (<em><b>Village Voice</b></em> Cover Story)<br />

Faking It
(Village Voice Cover Story)

Posted by on Dec 23, 2014 in Longform

When you consider how many things can go wrong at a metal foundry, it’s a miracle that anything comes out right. The range of potential catastrophes is almost infinite. Molds crack, wax shatters; molten bronze does strange things at 1,700 degrees. But a great many things came out right at Long Island City’s Empire Bronze […]

‘I Was Choked by the NYPD’ <br />(<b><i>Village Voice</i></b> Cover Story)

‘I Was Choked by the NYPD’
(Village Voice Cover Story)

Posted by on Sep 23, 2014 in Investigative/Enterprise, Longform

New York’s Chokehold Problem Isn’t Going Away As far as Angel Martinez was concerned, the police officer at the front desk that night wasn’t much more than an inconvenience. Sure, he’d refused to take Martinez’s complaint. He was even a little rude about it. But for Martinez, after a night in Queens central booking, with […]

LAPD Spied on 21 Using StingRay Anti-Terrorism Tool
(from L.A. Weekly)

Posted by on Dec 22, 2013 in Investigative/Enterprise

A secretive cellphone spy device known as StingRay, intended to fight terrorism, was used in far more routine LAPD criminal investigations 21 times in a four-month period during 2012, apparently without the courts’ knowledge that the technology probes the lives of non-suspects who happen to be in the same neighborhood as suspected terrorists. This is […]

License Plate Recognition Logs Our Lives Long Before We Sin <br />(from <b><i>L.A. Weekly</i></b>)

License Plate Recognition Logs Our Lives Long Before We Sin
(from L.A. Weekly)

Posted by on Dec 19, 2013 in Investigative/Enterprise

The Long Beach Police Department press release in August 2010 was tellingly brief — just 121 words. Franklin Robles, 33, had been shot to death on his way to buy a used Cadillac, a possible robbery attempt turned bloody. There was no suspect, no eyewitness. Investigators had little to go on — or so it […]

Deported Veterans in Rosarito, Mexico <br />(from <b><i>San Diego CityBeat</i></b>)

Deported Veterans in Rosarito, Mexico
(from San Diego CityBeat)

Posted by on Mar 19, 2013 in Investigative/Enterprise

  When I tell the receptionist at VFW headquarters why I’m calling, she isn’t sure she’s heard me correctly. “Deported veterans?” she says.  “Yes, ma’am.”  There’s a pause. “Huh.”  Even at an organization like the VFW, even in a military town like San Diego, the news that former soldiers, sailors and marines are among the […]

Unemployed Reporter Porter

Unemployed Reporter Porter

Posted by on Feb 3, 2013 in Recent Work

I’ve been brewing beer lately in my free time, entertaining myself by making some very elaborate labels.   I sent some pictures to a former colleague a few days ago and all of a sudden, it’s gone sorta viral, as the kids say, and people are asking about my beer. http://jimromenesko.com/2013/02/05/lots-of-buzz-for-unemployed-reporter-beer/ http://www.grubstreet.com/2013/02/unemployed-reporter-porter.html http://www.mediabistro.com/mediajobsdaily/laid-off-journalist-brews-unemployed-reporter-porter_b13637 Unfortunately, production […]

San Diego’s Licence Plate Reader System<br />(from <b><i>San Diego CityBeat</i></b>)

San Diego’s Licence Plate Reader System
(from San Diego CityBeat)

Posted by on Feb 2, 2013 in Investigative/Enterprise

License-plate Recognition Has Its Eyes on You Credit: Adam Vieyra I was on San Diego’s PBS affiliate KPBS yesterday, discussing  my recent piece for San Diego City Beat about the license plate reader system in San Diego County. Check out the TV segment below, it’s about 5 minutes long. I also had a chance to […]