Topher Sanders

Reporter

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Topher Sanders covers race, inequality and the justice system for ProPublica. In 2019, he was part of a team that was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for Public Service and won the Peabody and George Polk awards for their coverage of President Trump’s family separation policy. In 2018, he and reporter Ben Conarck received the Paul Tobenkin award for race coverage and the Al Nakkula award for police reporting for their multi-part investigation “Walking While Black,” which explored how jaywalking citations are disproportionately given to black pedestrians. His reporting has won a number of other national awards including a NABJ Award, an Online Journalism Award, the John Jay College/Harry Frank Guggenheim award for excellence in criminal justice reporting and he is a two-time winner of the Paul Tobenkin award for coverage of racial intolerance and discrimination.

In 2016 Sanders co-founded the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, a nonprofit working to increase the number of investigative reporters and editors of color. He is a graduate of Tuskegee University and started his journalism career at The Montgomery Advertiser in Montgomery, Alabama.

Refugios para jóvenes inmigrantes: “Si eres un depredador, es una mina de oro”

Obtuvimos informes policiales y registros de llamadas de más de dos tercios de los albergues que hospedan a niños inmigrantes. Esto es lo que muestran.

Immigrant Youth Shelters: “If You’re a Predator, It’s a Gold Mine”

We obtained police reports and call logs from more than two-thirds of the shelters housing immigrant children. Here’s what they show.

The Curious Case of the Twice-Fired FBI Analyst

Said Barodi, a Muslim American, had been deemed an “excellent” employee over a decade of work with the bureau before he was fired after a run-in at an airport. He won his appeal to get his job back, only to be fired again. He says his heritage made him a target. “I was the enemy within,” he says.

Jacksonville Sheriff Uses Misleading Data to Defend Pedestrian Ticketing

Sheriff Mike Williams has sought to counter the findings of racial disparities in pedestrian ticketing with his own set of numbers. They don’t add up.

NAACP Legal Defense Fund in Jacksonville Over Pedestrian Ticket Enforcement

Reporting by The Florida Times-Union and ProPublica prompts the Legal Defense Fund to start on-the-ground interviews.

The FBI — ‘Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity’ — Still Working on Diversity

The nation’s top federal law enforcement agency is overwhelmingly white, and its top officials acknowledge that’s “a huge operational risk.”

Sheriff’s Officers Working Black Section of Jacksonville to Get Bias Training

The effort comes as Jacksonville has seen controversial police shootings, arrests of activists and calls to suspend pedestrian ticketing in light of racial disparities.

Jacksonville City Council President and Local Public Defender Call for Suspension of Pedestrian Ticket Writing

A legal bulletin by the Jacksonville state attorney supports the finding that sheriff’s officers have been issuing hundreds of tickets in error, a disproportionate number of them to blacks.

Florida Police Issue Hundreds of Bad Pedestrian Tickets Every Year Because They Don’t Seem to Know the Law

The tickets for failing to cross in a crosswalk don’t just carry fines; they can damage credit rating and lead to the suspensions of driver’s licenses. A Florida Times-Union/ProPublica examination shows lots of them never should have been issued.

Pedestrian Tickets Lead to Hundreds of Suspended Driver’s Licenses

In Jacksonville, not paying your jaywalking ticket can cost you the ability to get to school or work. Again, blacks bear a disproportionate impact.

Local Lawmakers and Civil Rights Groups Call for Suspending Pedestrian Tickets in Jacksonville

Concerns about targeted enforcement against African Americans come after a Florida Times-Union/ProPublica investigation.

One Officer, Scores of Tickets and a Familiar Racial Disparity

C.J. Brown wrote four times as many pedestrian tickets as any other officer in Jacksonville over the last five years. Most of them went to blacks. His boss says he’s just “good at his job.”

Walking While Black

Jacksonville’s enforcement of pedestrian violations raises concerns that it’s another example of racial profiling.

The Ticketed Feel Targeted

A truck driver, a mother, a lawyer and a number of young men offer their accounts of walking while black.

How (Not) to Cross the Street in Jacksonville

The city’s population is 29 percent black, but black pedestrians received 55 percent of the pedestrian tickets issued from 2012 to July 2017. Looking at each type of ticket issued reveals even bigger disparities.

Misdemeanor Defendants Facing Jail Time Not Told They Have a Right to Counsel, Bar Association Finds

American Bar Association monitors report misdemeanor defendants in Nashville often aren’t told they are entitled to a lawyer even when their charges mean they could end up behind bars.

A Wisconsin Republican Looks Back With Regret at Voter ID and Redistricting Fights

Republican efforts to impose voter ID laws and redraw election districts both wound up in federal court. Dale Schultz ended 30 years in state politics lamenting the recent displays of partisanship.

Confusion Over Drug Tests Highlights Lack of Training for Florida Officers

A series of embarrassments suggests Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office could use some instruction on using and interpreting field tests that have resulted in thousands of drug arrests in recent years.

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