Nicole Santa Cruz


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Nicole Santa Cruz is a reporter covering issues of inequality in the Southwest.

She joined ProPublica from the Los Angeles Times, where she spent nearly 12 years as a staff writer. As lead reporter on the Times’ Homicide Report, a groundbreaking public service project that documents every homicide victim in Los Angeles County, she reported on the lives of hundreds of people, highlighting neighborhoods that were disproportionately affected by violence and uncovering trends, including an increase in women being killed even as officials hailed a decline in murders. Santa Cruz also assembled a first-of-its-kind database of county prosecutor memos detailing fatal police encounters.

She began her career on the Times’ national desk, from which she was dispatched to the swamps of Louisiana to cover the BP oil spill and to her hometown of Tucson, Arizona, to write about the 2011 mass shooting at an event held by then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Santa Cruz’s work at ProPublica focuses on investigating the impact of inequities on marginalized communities. She is based in Phoenix.

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