Two years before the murder of George Floyd, a man named David Baker was killed while being restrained by seven police officers in Colorado. Reporter Chris Vanderveen’s investigation into the deadly use of the prolonged prone restraint technique by police officers, and the department policy that supported it, proves the power of collective local reporting with direct national impact. Researching body camera footage, autopsy reports, and court filings, Vanderveen created a searchable database that provided specific patterns so reporters could report similar cases in their areas. Over two years, the database became a catalyst for multiple news stories in other cities. In cooperation with other local news teams from across the United States, KUSA-TV created an interactive web piece that featured each of the 131 cases and a video that serves as an instructive “how-to” for reporters to uncover prolonged prone-restraint deaths. The police departments of Denver and Minneapolis have changed their policies in the wake of the series. For its innovative and strong investigative reporting around a vital issue, and its part in preventing further national tragedy, KUSA-TV’s “PRONE” wins a Peabody Award.
PRIMARY PRODUCTION CREDITS
Network/Station/Platform: KUSA. Creators: Chris Vanderveen, Chris Hansen. Executive Producer: Chris Vanderveen. Associate Producers/Producers: Chris Hansen, A.J. Lagoe, Steve Eckert. Writers: Chris Vanderveen, A.J. Lagoe. Editor: Chris Hansen. Reporters/Correspondents: Chris Vanderveen, A.J. Lagoe, Charlotte Huffman, Jason Trahan, Katie Wilcox, Joe Dana, Andie Judson, Katie Moore, Marissa Tansino, Alicia Neaves. Photography: Chris Hansen, Chris Paxton, Carlos Chavez, Victor Nieto, Derek Waldrip, Kyle Connolly, Kenny McGregor, Howard Constantine, Richard Owensby, Chad Nelson, David Porter, George Marincel, Evan Hinojos, Doug Powell, Haleigh Purvis.