Eric Umansky

Editor-At-Large

Photo of Eric Umansky

Eric Umansky is an editor-at-large at ProPublica, where he has overseen two Pulitzer Prize-winning projects. Most recently, a series he edited on NYPD abuse of “nuisance abatement” laws won the Pulitzer Gold Medal for Public Service. Umansky oversaw much of ProPublica's Trump administration coverage, including the “Trump, Inc.” podcast with WNYC, which won a DuPont Award. More recently, Umansky has reported with his colleagues on police accountability in New York City. The work has won the John Jay College/Harry Frank Guggenheim Award for Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting and the Al Nakkula Award for Police Reporting. It has also been credited with helping spur reforms.

Umansky joined ProPublica when it started in 2008. Before that, he wrote a column for Slate. Umansky has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post and many others. He is also a co-founder of Document Cloud.

21 Bodycam Videos Caught the NYPD Wrongly Arresting Black Kids on Halloween. Why Can’t the Public See the Footage?

ProPublica editor-at-large Eric Umansky started investigating police oversight after an NYPD officer hit a teenager with a car in 2019. In the years since, he’s learned how police departments have undermined the promise of body-worn cameras.

How Chicago Became an Unlikely Leader in Body-Camera Transparency

The city has a long history of brutal, violent policing, but its latest approach to body-worn cameras and police oversight could serve as a national model.

NYPD Will Stop Withholding Body-Camera Footage of Police Shootings From Civilian Investigators

After questions from ProPublica and The New York Times Magazine, the New York Police Department pledged to end its practice of not sharing videos in ongoing investigations with the Civilian Complaint Review Board.

How Police Have Undermined the Promise of Body Cameras

Hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars have been spent on what was sold as a revolution in transparency and accountability. Instead, police departments routinely refuse to release footage — even when officers kill.

Video Showed an Officer Trying to Stop His Partner From Killing a Man. Now We Know Police Investigators Never Even Asked About the Footage.

We obtained the NYPD’s full investigation into the killing of Kawaski Trawick, including documents and audio of interviews with the officers. The records provide a rare window into how exactly a police department examines its own after a shooting.

How America’s Democracy Is “Ripe to Be Exploited”

Why are so many people now embracing demagogues? Barbara Walter, political scientist and author of “How Civil Wars Start,” tells ProPublica that the vital signs of healthy democracy are in decline around the world.

A Police Car Hit a Kid on Halloween 2019. The NYPD Is Quashing a Move to Punish the Officer.

Civilian investigators found that officers engaged in serious misconduct, including hitting one boy with a car, pointing a gun at another and wrongly arresting three teens. Then the NYPD intervened.

Judge Says NYPD Illegally Withheld Footage in Police Shootings

A New York state judge said the NYPD was operating in “bad faith” when it denied requests to release body-worn camera footage from the killing of Kawaski Trawick.

Police Watchdog Calls for Full Access to Body Cam Footage. The NYPD Says No.

The inspector general for the NYPD concludes, as ProPublica has detailed, that the police aren’t giving civilian investigators full access to body-worn camera footage.

Here’s Why Rapid COVID Tests Are So Expensive and Hard to Find

Monthslong silences. Mysterious rejections. Here’s what's behind the shortages of a critical tool for ending the pandemic.

After NYPD Found “No Wrongdoing” in Officer’s Killing of Kawaski Trawick, a Watchdog Finds Fireable Offenses

New York City’s police oversight agency brought disciplinary charges against the officer who killed Kawaski Trawick. While the NYPD found no wrongdoing, ProPublica published footage showing it was the cops who escalated the situation.

“City Hall Put the Kibosh on That”: The Inside Story of How de Blasio Promised, Then Thwarted NYPD Accountability

Bill de Blasio once pledged powerful oversight of the police. Then he became mayor. Insiders reveal what happened next.

What Police Impunity Looks Like: “There Was No Discipline as No Wrongdoing Was Found”

To understand why police are so rarely held accountable for killings, you should know about Kawaski Trawick, and what didn’t happen to the officer who shot him.

New York City Kills COVID Rule That Led to Repeated School Closings Despite No Evidence of Outbreaks

Last week ProPublica cited epidemiologists saying New York was “crazy” to keep closing schools over two unlinked positive cases. This week, the city ended the rule.

My Kids’ School Closed Again. So I Started Calling Experts.

Many New York City public schools have been repeatedly closed because of two positive COVID-19 tests, even without evidence of in-school spread. Experts call it “crazy.” And it’s driving me nuts.

Only Two NYPD Officers Face Serious Discipline From a Watchdog’s Investigations Into Abuse of Black Lives Matter Protesters

After ProPublica detailed the lack of disclosure about protest cases by New York City’s Civilian Complaint Review Board, the agency has revealed how little progress has been made on many of the investigations.

Over 700 Complaints About NYPD Officers Abusing Black Lives Matter Protesters, Then Silence

Emails show New York City’s Civilian Complaint Review Board leaders discouraged staff from confronting the NYPD about a lack of cooperation on abuse investigations. The agency declined to disclose how many officers are facing misconduct charges.

A Federal Appeals Court Has Ruled in Favor of Releasing NYPD Discipline Records

On Tuesday, the 2nd Circuit rejected unions’ appeal to keep NYPD discipline records secret. ProPublica published thousands of those files last year. “The cat is not only out of the bag, it’s running around the streets,” one judge noted then.

New York City Council Proposes Sweeping NYPD Reforms

The council has announced a package of bills to reshape the NYPD and improve officer accountability. A City Council member cited a “direct line” from ProPublica’s coverage to the proposals.

“Nobody” Hurt, “Just a Perp,” Say Officers After NYPD Shot and Killed Man in His Own Home

The comments were captured in body-worn camera footage the NYPD recently disclosed, 20 months after Kawaski Trawick was shot in his apartment while holding a bread knife.

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