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Excellence in Broadcast Local Coverage, Honoring Jack R. Howard


Author(s): Chris Vanderveen and Chris Hansen | KUSA-TV, A.J. Lagoe | KARE-TV


Months before George Floyd’s death, Denver’s KUSA-TV began taking a close look at the documented cases of 132 people across the U.S. who have died facedown while handcuffed and under the weight of police officers who were restraining them.

Prompted by the death in late 2018 of a man under the weight of seven officers in Aurora, Colo., the station’s investigative team began an intense review of prone restraint deaths, pouring over court filings, autopsy reports, news coverage and body camera recordings. The investigation led to the station’s groundbreaking series, “PRONE.”

“PRONE,” supported by a comprehensive database of the reporting team’s findings, documented a long history of law enforcement officers using prone restraint tactics despite a 1995 advisory from the U.S. Department of Justice to discontinue the practice. KUSA’s database includes the names of victims and commonalities that exist in many of the prone restraint deaths the newsroom team examined.

KUSA’s impactful work is being used as a training tool by police departments nationwide to discourage the use of improper and dangerous restraint tactics. In Minneapolis, KARE-TV’s contribution to the investigation led to enhanced restraint training for police and banned prone restraint techniques in the local jail. KUSA also has produced an instructional video for journalists who are interested in launching investigative reporting projects on the topic.

Honoring Jack R. Howard
Black and white photo of a man in a striped suit smiling by his desk covered with newspapers

Jack R. Howard is credited with expanding The E.W. Scripps Company’s presence in the field of broadcasting. In 1937, he was elected president of the Scripps radio company. Jack succeeded his father, Roy W. Howard, as president of Scripps-Howard in 1953. He retired in 1976.