By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

(CBS) — CBS 2 Chicago won the 2020 Chicago Headline Club Watchdog Award for excellence in public interest reporting for its November report Left in the Dark.

The report uncovered Chicago Police officers often failed to turn on their body cameras when required in thousands of interactions with citizens, and that interactions in predominantly Black and brown parts of the city were less likely to be recorded, despite the department’s promises that the cameras would strengthen community trust in police.

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The story also found the department’s accountability structures were failing. After a months-long public records battle, CBS 2 obtained internal audits showing supervisors ignoring their responsibilities to review subordinates’ videos.

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In their announcement of the winners, the Headline Club’s judges said the story “truly reflects the spirt of the Watchdog awards.”

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“Exhaustive reporting and excellent multimedia presentation mark this stunning project that reveals police willfully – and with little consequence – failing to activate their required body cameras in tens of thousands of citizen encounters,” the announcement said. “The deep research and fight for accountability, including a months-long FOIA battle for internal audits, expose a powerful set of institutions flouting their responsibility to the public they serve.”

CBS 2 Chicago Staff