Author Archive

Brentin Mock

Brentin Mock is a staff writer at CityLab. He was previously the justice editor at Grist.
Public Safety

The Persistent, Wide Racial Gap in Attitudes Toward the Police

A Pew report shows that nearly a third of white Americans under the age of 30 have “cold” feelings for the police. Recent court rulings and decisions made by the Trump administration this year might help explain why.

Public Safety

Attorney General's Civil Asset Forfeiture Orders Are 'Irrelevant' in Philadelphia

Jeff Sessions has ordered prosecutors to continue seizing property from suspects, even if they haven’t been charged with a crime, to help finance law enforcement practices. Philadelphia is moving in the opposite direction.

Public Safety

The Price of Defunding the Police

A new report fleshes out the controversial demand to cut police department budgets and reallocate those funds into healthcare, housing, jobs, and schools. Will that make communities of color safer?

Public Safety

Why Jails Are Booming

A new report from the Prison Policy Initiative shows that the populations of local jails are swelling for reasons that have little to do with crime.


When Cities Fought the Feds Over Apartheid

In 1986, the city of Baltimore battled the Reagan administration over its local anti-apartheid ordinances—and won. How they prevailed may have important lessons for cities trying to resist Trump today.


Applying the 'Rooney Rule' to Cities

Pittsburgh will borrow a page from the NFL’s diversity playbook in order to get more people of color into leadership positions in city government.


Where Gerrymandering Is Containing City Power

To resist the current political peril, just boost the urban voter turnout, right? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.


Parting Thoughts From Pittsburgh's Chief of Innovation and Performance

Debra Lam is resigning this month, after two years with the city.


A Controversial Police Chief's Parting Words With His Profession

Cameron McLay just resigned from his post as Pittsburgh’s police chief—right when urban policing is about to get a lot more interesting.


White People Do Sell Drugs, Despite What Maine's Governor Says

Governor Paul LePage believes black and Latino drug dealers are polluting the white state of Maine.


It's Official: Racist Police Practices Are Endemic in Baltimore

A U.S. Department of Justice audit of the city's police department shows a disturbing culture of racism among the force.


North Carolina Is About to Pass a Law Barring Public Access to Police Cam Footage

The controversial bill has cleared the House and made its way through the Senate Wednesday.


North Carolina Wants To Ban Public Access to Police Camera Footage

While some U.S. cities move toward releasing police footage for accountability and transparency, North Carolina heads in the opposite direction.


New Orleans Continues On a Path of Decarceration

A new $1.5 million MacArthur Foundation grant could give New Orleans’ public defenders, and its incarcerated citizens, some relief.


St. Louis Keeps Running Out of Ballots on Election Day

Are Missouri's counties really ready for a photo voter ID law?


Flint Mayor Threatens Michigan With Lawsuit Over Water Crisis

Countering the state's funding games with a bid to fast-track replacement of lead pipes in families’ homes


DOT Investigating Alabama DMV Closings

Did the shutdown of more than 30 DMV offices have a discriminatory effect on African Americans seeking licenses?


These Cities Erase Police Complaints Per Policy?

Campaign Zero examines how police unions try to hide officer misconduct.


Revisiting the 'Ferguson Effect' on Policing

Recent events conflict with the claims of researchers and law enforcement officials that cops are afraid to do their jobs due to their portrayal on social media.