Ken Armstrong

Reporter

Ken Armstrong joined ProPublica in 2017. In 2018, his reporting with Christian Sheckler on the criminal justice system in Elkhart, Indiana, led to criminal charges against two officers and the police chief’s resignation. Previously, at the Marshall Project, his work appeared in the Washington Post, The New Yorker and The Paris Review. For his collaboration with ProPublica’s T. Christian Miller, about a woman charged with lying about being raped, Armstrong won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting. That story also became a This American Life episode, a book, “A False Report,” and, in 2019, an eight-part Netflix series, “Unbelievable.”

At the Seattle Times, Armstrong won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting for a series with Michael Berens that showed how the state of Washington steered Medicaid patients and others to a cheap but unpredictable painkiller linked to more than 2,000 deaths. He also shared in two staff Pulitzers for breaking news for coverage of a landslide that killed 43 people and the shooting deaths of four police officers.

He has also written for the Chicago Tribune, where his work with Steve Mills helped prompt the Illinois governor to suspend executions and empty death row. He has been honored with six IRE Awards, a Peabody Award and the John Chancellor Award from Columbia University for lifetime achievement. His book with Nick Perry, “Scoreboard, Baby: A Story of College Football, Crime, and Complicity,” won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for nonfiction. Armstrong, a graduate of Purdue University, has been a Nieman Fellow at Harvard and the McGraw Professor of Writing at Princeton.

An Elkhart Police Officer Was Convicted of Drunken Driving — Then the Chief Promoted Him

Last year, Chief Ed Windbigler said he doubted the case against the officer would stick. After the officer pleaded guilty, the chief didn’t discipline him. This year, Windbigler promoted him to detective without telling an oversight board.

With Trump’s Justice Department Retreating, Who Will Now Police the Police?

The Department of Justice is moving away from taking on abuses by local law enforcement. This is what that means for Elkhart, Indiana.

Elkhart, Indiana, Police Chief Suspended for 30 Days Following Release of Beating Video

The mayor disciplined the chief after revelations by the South Bend Tribune and ProPublica about the city’s troubled police force. But the mayor made no public announcement, leaving people, including the chair of the city’s civilian oversight commission, to wonder where the chief was.

“They Should Have Been Fired on the Spot”: In Elkhart, Indiana, the Talk Is All About the Police and a Video

At a town hall meeting, the Police Department’s second in command defended his officers and criticized reporters. “What’s all this digging?” he said, while accusing the South Bend Tribune and ProPublica of an “ambush” for calling officers to ask for their comment.

Indiana State Police Turn Down Elkhart Mayor’s Request for Broad Review of City’s Police Department

Stories by the South Bend Tribune and ProPublica revealed Elkhart police officers’ misconduct and disciplinary histories. The state police were asked to investigate, but say that’s the job of the U.S. Justice Department.

Who Runs This Police Department? Lots of Officers Who’ve Been Reprimanded or Even Suspended.

The Elkhart, Indiana, Police Department has 34 supervisors. Most of them have been disciplined for carelessness, incompetence or misconduct — including the chief.

Nearly All the Officers in Charge of an Indiana Police Department Have Been Disciplined — Including the Chief Who Keeps Promoting Them

Of the 34 supervisors in the Elkhart, Indiana, Police Department, 28 have been disciplined. Fifteen have been suspended. Seven have been involved in fatal shootings. Three have been convicted of criminal charges.

Indiana Police Officer Before Punching Handcuffed Man: “If You Spit Again, We’re Gonna Party”

On Friday, the Elkhart, Indiana, Police Department released a 30-second clip of two officers beating a man in custody. Now we have the full 30 minutes, ending with the man leaving the police station on a stretcher.

Two Indiana Police Officers to be Charged After Video Shows Them Beating Handcuffed Man

“A little overboard,” is how the police chief had previously described the officers’ actions. The decision to charge them came only after ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network demanded to see the video.

When Public Records Aren’t Public

In Elkhart, Indiana, even easy records can be hard to get. Trial exhibits? No. Appellate briefs? No. Police reports in the court file? No. And don’t even ask about moving those boxes.

Standing by Their Convictions

The DNA didn’t match. The witnesses weren’t sure. But the prosecution persisted.

For Some Victims, Reporting a Rape Can Bring Doubt, Abuse — and Even Prosecution

False reporting is a crime, one that some police would like to make a priority. But history shows the police can’t always tell the truth from a lie.

An Unbelievable Story of Rape

An 18-year-old said she was attacked at knifepoint. Then she said she made it up. That’s where our story begins.

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