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WBRZ honored with regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Investigative Reporting

1 year 1 day 3 hours ago Thursday, May 18 2023 May 18, 2023 May 18, 2023 12:07 PM May 18, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - An in-depth series of reports focused on misconduct within Louisiana State Police has been recognized with a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Investigative Reporting and will now advance to the national level of that competition.

The entry, "Holding Louisiana State Police Accountable," focused on issues uncovered by the WBRZ Investigative Unit as it examined the circumstances surrounding the death of Ronald Greene and the suppression and distortion of information in that case.

Greene died in 2019 while in police custody. The WBRZ entry noted that, following the WBRZ investigation, "the United States Department of Justice announced a federal civil rights probe into the statewide law enforcement agency. Officials characterized it as a remarkable, once-in-decades step taken to address egregious misconduct rising to the highest level of Louisiana State Police."

The entry adds:

In the months prior, the WBRZ Investigative Unit broke the news that the second-in-command at LSP had his cell phone erased – even as multiple investigations were underway into Greene’s in-custody beating death. Our investigation earlier in the year prompted the formation of a special committee of the Louisiana State Legislature. That committee would question State Police about the findings set forth in the WBRZ investigative reports.

The fallout continued, as Lt. Col. Doug Cain, the LSP official featured prominently in our reporting, resigned, and in December 2022, the Investigative Unit was with Greene’s family for one of the most significant developments since his passing – the announcement of felony charges against five law enforcement officers.

The submission featured the work of Chief Investigative Reporter Chris Nakamoto, Photojournalist Joe McCoy and Producer Erin McWilliams.

WBRZ received the award in Region 9, which encompasses four states, in the category for stations outside of the "Top 50 markets" as determined by population.

The Edward R. Murrow Award is presented by RTDNA - the Radio, Television, Digital News Association. 

Earlier this year, WBRZ accepted the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award for its work exposing corruption in the ranks of the state police force.

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