Gun Crisis Reporting Project uncovers despair : Columbia Journalism Review

By Christie Chisholm for The Columbia Journalism Review

Friends and family members gathering on Hicks Street near West Bristol Street in the Nicetown section of Philadelphia on Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014, hold a vigil to remember Terrance 'T-Bird' Cox. Cox was fatally wounded on Thursday July 31, 2014, when unknown gunmen opened fire on the corner and critically wounded two other men. (GunCrisis.org, Joseph Kaczmarek)

Friends and family members gathering on Hicks Street near West Bristol Street in the Nicetown section of Philadelphia on Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014, hold a vigil to remember Terrance ‘T-Bird’ Cox. Cox was fatally wounded on Thursday July 31, 2014, when unknown gunmen opened fire on the corner and critically wounded two other men. (GunCrisis.org, Joseph Kaczmarek)

It’s just before midnight on a warm summer monday when photographer Joe “Kaz” Kaczmarek gets word of a double shooting on the 6500 block of Castor Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia. In less than 30 minutes he arrives on the scene, where a black baseball cap lays upside-down on the sidewalk next to a blood-soaked paper towel and a spent bullet casing outlined in chalk. Scott Small, the Philadelphia Police Department’s chief inspector, announces that a 43-year-old woman and her 55-year-old fiancé were shot a total of 12 times at close range. With two Canon cameras slung around his neck, Kaczmarek begins documenting the aftermath.

As cofounder of the Gun Crisis Reporting Project—a nonprofit devoted to covering Philadelphia’s epidemic of gun violence—that Monday was a typical day at the office for Joe Kaz. Nearly every night of the week, he is out photographing the scenes of gun-assisted crime in a city that has suffered one of the country’s highest homicide rates for nearly a decade.

Full Story: Gun Crisis Reporting Project uncovers despair : Columbia Journalism Review.

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About Kenneth Lipp

Kenneth is a writer and researcher. He’s from Alabama, and will not apologize for it. He moved to Pennsylvania in 2012, but has been in love with Philadelphia since a late-night stroll down Ben Franklin Parkway to the Art Museum in July of 2011 with the love of his life. He is interested in telling Philadelphia’s dynamic and absolutely unique stories with the zeal of a constantly enamored newcomer. Kenneth is also passionate about government transparency and protection of whistleblowers, most notably PFC Chelsea Manning. His research and reporting on law enforcement and surveillance have been featured in various publications, including Rolling Stone (Meet the Private Companies Helping Cops Spy on Protesters) and Popular Science (Boston Tested Crowd-Watching Software That Catalogues People's Skin Color). His training is in both genetics and history and he likes the joke about being a helicase and unzipping your “genes.” He’s driven to know, and thinks you can handle, the truth. Follow him on Twitter @kennethlipp.

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