Reporter Ailsa Chang’s investigation into marijuana arrests and illegal searches by the NYPD found a disturbing pattern known as ‘stop and frisks.’
People arrested in the city’s poorest neighborhoods are routinely targeted and mischarged with misdemeanor marijuana possession without a factual basis to support the arrest.
Through extensive interviews with current and former police officers, prosecutors, defense lawyers and dozens of young people arrested by police, Chang methodically showed how authorities were conducting illegal searches during ‘stop and frisks.’ The reports also spotlighted racial disparities in marijuana arrests. New York state legislators introduced a bill to decrease incentives for police to conduct aggressive and potentially illegal searches during stop-and-frisks after the reports aired.
For more on information on all the winners visit The Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards site. Ailsa Chang is an award-winning journalist who covers terrorism, criminal justice and the courts for WNYC.