The Columbia Journalism Review has selected its favorite local stories from 2015 and “Did Caroline Small Have to Die?” — an investigation by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News — made the cut.
Part of the organization’s “Over the Line” series, the Caroline Small piece was published in July and looked deeply into what a veteran GBI agent called the worst police shooting he’s seen.
In June 2010, two Glynn County police officers shot and killed Caroline Small, an unarmed 35-year mother of two. A grand jury cleared the officers of wrongdoing, but the AJC’s Brad Schrade found glaring irregularities in how Small’s case was handled.
In their selection, the Columbia Journalism Review called the investigative piece “compelling”:
“Over the past year, many news organizations have taken hard looks at police shootings, uncovering disturbing patterns and evidence of cover-ups in specific cases," CJR wrote. "But how many have uncovered a parade of people involved in a shooting investigation willing to go on the record to condemn the way it was handled?”
« 171 shot dead, zero prosecuted: Wide latitude for police to shoot, unique grand jury privileges and DA discretion add up to no prosecutions for officers who kill in the line of duty.
« Shot at home: Calls for help ended in death. Home is where many deadly police shootings occur.
« Shot in the back New evidence in the controversial shooting death of an unarmed black teenager by a white Union City Police officer contradicts the official account and casts doubt on the officer’s justification for pulling his trigger.