Earlier this year, the Marshall Project and local journalist, Wendi Thomas, filed a lawsuit against the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission over its failure to disclose financial information and other records. Simone Weichselbaum, who covers national policing policy for the Marshall Project, was investigating the claims often made by Memphis officials that an increase in the number of police officers has a direct impact on violent crime. Simone ran into a dead end when the Crime Commission refused to provide requested information, so they filed the lawsuit.
We talked to Simone about the importance of transparency when making public safety policy; some of the unusual things she discovered about the Memphis Police Department; and the challenges of diversity and inclusion in journalism. We hope you enjoy our conversation.