YouTube video

A nonviolent domestic dispute in Laredo, Zapata County, Texas, took a dark and violent turn after the arrival of local sheriffs. Officers moved to subdue Rigoberto Barrientos, and in the process injured his leg so severely that it later had to be amputated at a local hospital. For over a year, sheriffs fought to prevent the body camera footage of the incident from coming to light. Police Accountability Report unveils the footage of this gruesome and disturbing incident for the first time.

Production: Stephen Janis, Taya Graham
Post-Production: Stephen Janis, Adam Coley


Taya Graham:  Hello, my name is Taya Graham, welcome to the Police Accountability Report. As I always make clear, this show has a single purpose: holding the politically powerful institution of policing accountable. And to do so, we don’t focus on the bad behavior of individual cops. Instead, we examine the system that makes bad policing possible. And today, we’ll achieve that goal by showing you this video of police brutality, so shocking, that some of it we simply have to censor. It’s a use of force that severely injured a man who had been cooperating with police. But it’s also a developing story because how the department that employed these officers handled the case shows that when cops cause harm, holding them accountable is a never-ending task. But before we get started, I want you watching to know that if you have video evidence of police misconduct, please email it to us privately at or reach out to me on Facebook or Twitter at @TayasBaltimore and we might be able to investigate for you.

And please like, share, and comment on our videos. It helps us get the word out and can even help our guests. And you know I read your comments and appreciate them. You see those little hearts and likes I give out down there. And we do have a Patreon called Accountability Report. So if you feel inspired to donate, please do. We don’t run ads or take corporate dollars, so anything you can spare is truly appreciated. All right, we’ve gotten that out of the way.

Now, one of the most pervasive problems with American policing is not brutality, corruption, or overly aggressive enforcement. It’s not over-policing or speed traps or the misuse of the law to trump up charges on innocent civilians. No, the most prevalent and stubborn issue we see in our coverage of police is how hard it is to hold them accountable for it. Time after time, in story after story, it seems that when police screw up, the mechanisms of governance become immobilized, unable to discipline the police officers for transgressions that would put you or me in jail. That’s why today we are reporting on a case of brutality so disturbing we can’t even show you everything that happened on this show: an act of violence that resulted in a life-altering injury for the victim but so far, little or no repercussions for the cops. The story starts in Zapata County, Texas where Laredo County police were called to a domestic dispute that up to the point where police had arrived, had not been violent. Take a look.


Police Officer 1:  [Crosstalk] That’s what she wants, man. We’ll give you a ride, man. I mean, that’s not a problem. We’ll give you a ride. We’re not going to take you to jail or anything.

Rigoberto Barrientos:  I don’t care about jail.

Police Officer 1:  No, no, no. I’m not saying that. [crosstalk] No, no, no. Like I’m not saying you don’t want to get a ride with us.

Rigoberto Barrientos:  There’s so much else.

Police Officer 1:  I don’t know, we’re trying to help you out. We’re not trying to [inaudible].


Taya Graham:  However soon, for reasons that have yet to be explained, police escalated the encounter. Just watch.


Police Officer 1:  Just relax, relax, relax, relax. [Crosstalk] Relax, relax, relax, relax, relax, relax, relax, relax.


Taya Graham:  Now, a note before I show the rest of this video, I understand how domestic calls are not only the most volatile but also the most consequentially dangerous for both police and the people involved. I get that walking into the middle of a conflict between family members can be fraught with both underlying tensions and even sudden violence. However, no situation, or at least none that I can imagine, can justify the consequences of the use of force by these officers during this arrest. Nothing can explain what you are about to see. Now, we have covered the video in part so you could see most of it. Otherwise, Youtube probably wouldn’t let us show any of it. But still, please be advised what we are about to show may be upsetting and disturbing.


Police Officer 1:  Relax. Relax. Relax. Relax. Get a tourniquet, bro. Get a tourniquet. Get a tourniquet. Put a tourniquet on his leg, bro. Oh, you were getting my– I was trying to help you out.


Taya Graham:  Now, what happened in the part of the video we had to sensor is, simply put, horrific. The officers, while attempting to take Rigoberto Barrientos to the ground, broke, and I mean, compound fractured his leg. They literally turned his leg backward. They essentially severed his leg from his body. The injury was so severe the doctors could not reattach it. Instead, they had to amputate it below his knee. It is a horrifying injury that has literally changed his life.


Police Officer 1:  No, no, no. That’s a lot of blood loss.

Police Officer 2:  Yeah, he’s under the influence.

Police Officer 3:  What you told me, all you’re going to start detaining [crosstalk]  all you’re going to detain, put you under your back. He starts to get up.

Police Officer 2:  Yeah. Then we go down and that’s it.

Police Officer 3:  And then he goes down. And whenever we get through handcuffs–

Police Officer 2:  Dude, I saw he was missing a leg. I was like, where is his leg? Yeah, it was literally, it was dude, it threw everybody off. It was like literally, where’s his leg? And then I saw it and I pulled it out thinking it was like going to be dislocated or something.

Police Officer 3:  And bro, I knew I should have come as soon as I heard the call, but I didn’t think much of it. I thought it was going to be like–


Taya Graham:  But here’s the surprising twist, so far the police department and the local prosecutor’s office have said nothing about the two officers involved. They haven’t even confirmed that there’s any investigation into the traumatic use of excessive force at all. Nor have they even promised to consider criminal charges for the brutality. Although Mr. Barrientos had been charged with resisting arrest despite the fact he was not charged with domestic violence. Here’s a clip from the press conference held by the victim’s lawyer, Kevin Green, where you can see the devastating impact of the injury inflicted by the police. Just look.


Kevin Green: I’m an attorney out of Austin, Texas. My name is Kevin Green. I also have the honor and privilege of representing Rigoberto Barrientos who lost his leg. He was a victim of four sheriff’s deputies that assaulted him last year and then his case lay buried beneath a false police report where the deputy who filled out that report lied and said that Mr. Barrientos started a fight with that deputy. We know because I fought, along with my partner Thomas Lyons, Jr., very hard to finally get the Zapata County officials to give us a copy of all of the police body cam footage. The footage is absolutely horrific. It shows an unprovoked arrest with no probable cause. And then much, much worse, it shows that the four deputies decided to body slam Mr. Barrientos face first towards a concrete floor. And what braced his fall and probably kept him from severe facial and spine injuries was his knee.

So I am, today, pleading with the county officials, the county commissioners, the sheriff himself, and anyone that will listen in Zapata County to release that video and to make some statements telling people what they intend to do to fix this, to make sure that no one else gets hurt like Mr. Barrientos. And to make sure that the public knows that no one’s going to tolerate a hyper-violent police force that’s just taking it out on people because they can.


Taya Graham:  But still, police have stayed silent and refuse to comment publicly about how they are handling this case. Even the mainstream media in Texas has been reluctant to call out law enforcement despite the severity of the use of force we just revealed to you on your screen. So the process of keeping this story alive has been taken up by none other than a group of Texas cop watchers, First Amendment watchdogs, who despite being under pressure from law enforcement themselves, have continued to report on the story to keep us informed. And soon we will be joined by Corner’s News to talk about how he and other cop watchers have continued to put pressure on local law enforcement. But first, I’m going to check in with my reporting partner, Stephen Janis, who’s been looking into the case and reaching out for comment. Stephen, thank you so much for joining me.

Stephen Janis:  Taya, thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

Taya Graham:  So Stephen, what is your take on how police are handling this investigation? What stands out to you?

Stephen Janis:  Really, Taya, what stands out to me is that they’re not handling it. We pulled a federal lawsuit that Mr. Barrientos filed and it says basically that the officers lied in the statement of probable cause, that the officers had said that he was in a fighting stance and that he had threatened them. Now, I want you to watch that video and you tell me if you see Mr. Barrientos threatening anybody because I certainly don’t. But what’s really interesting is there’s a footnote that says that the case was referred to the Texas Rangers who then referred it to the Department of Justice but only about the lying on the statement of probable cause, which is bad in of itself, but nothing about the use of force being in any way reviewed by prosecutors or reviewed by the Texas Rangers. So really, handling it poorly.

Taya Graham:  Now, you’ve been reaching out to the police for comment. What are they saying?

Stephen Janis:  Well, it’s really interesting. I called them and I said, can you respond to what happened? Can you respond to the lawsuit? They have said nothing. But let’s remember, they stonewalled releasing this body camera footage for almost a year. I’m not surprised they don’t have any comment. But the lawsuit speaks for itself. They have yet to answer this in federal court. So right now, these allegations, which are numerous against this department, including the fact that they basically detached his leg from his body and then stood around and chuckled about it, have not yet had a court response. So right now, the agency is just stonewalling.

Taya Graham:  How does this stonewalling compare to other cases of police brutality that you’ve reported on that police have tried to cover up?

Stephen Janis:  I feel like this is a classic case of wait and hope people forget. Which is something that we saw in our hometown of Baltimore for years, until the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, and the outrage was so intense that they had to answer. But this is a classic case of wait, delay, obfuscate, and do whatever you can to make sure the people are no longer paying attention. Thank God, the cop watchers are, and some people are refusing to let go of this story. But for now, the police are hoping that everyone will and they certainly shouldn’t.

Taya Graham:  And now we’re joined by Cop Watcher and Auditor, Corner’s News, otherwise known as Ismael Rincon. Corner’s News, thank you so much for joining us.

Corner’s News:  Oh, thank you for having me again.

Taya Graham:  Ismael, you have been instrumental in releasing information about an incredibly disturbing incident with the Zapata County Sheriff’s Department. Can you tell me a little bit about the incident? Why were the sheriffs at Mr. Barrientos’s home?

Corner’s News:  This happened in Zapata County. It happened on April 26, 2022. And they were called for a domestic disturbance, according to their affidavit, to a domestic disturbance. And everything was calm and no violence according to any of the parties. There was no violence at any time. So that’s why they were called to that specific address.

Taya Graham:  So this seems to be a very calm encounter that we see on the body camera footage. What suddenly changed that he ended up suffering these horrific injuries?

Corner’s News:  Well, basically he was talking and one of the officers didn’t like what he was saying or the way he was talking to him. He wasn’t being disrespectful or anything, he was just being firm with what he was saying. And they claimed on video they were drinking, both of them. So I think that played some sort of a role in them treating him the way they did. But as far as violence, he never did anything violent or threatening. In their report, he said that Mr. Barrientos squared up to the officer and we don’t see that ever on the body cam. Also, the injuries he suffered were severe. His knee bent the way the knee is not supposed to bend and it tore his skin and ligaments and everything completely up. He was bleeding out in front of his own house.

Taya Graham:  What were the exact injuries that Mr. Barrientos suffered? What was the medical treatment rendered at the scene and what surgery did he receive at the hospital?

Corner’s News:  So his bone ripped his skin, ligaments, muscle, everything. And Mr. Barrientos was bleeding out. They had to use two tourniquets to stop the bleeding. I would say if they wouldn’t have applied those tourniquets, he would’ve bled out in front of his house. So EMS responded, and they took him to Laredo Medical Center because Zapata County doesn’t have a hospital. So they took him to Laredo Medical Center in Laredo, Texas. He needed more specialized care, so they transported him to a hospital in Zapata and they couldn’t save his leg. 

So they had to amputate his leg. That was a severe injury for not even being arrested because he wasn’t arrested. They claim on video, he was not under arrest. Because EMS asked the Zapata County deputies, is he under arrest? They need to know that because if he’s under arrest, they need to cuff him to the bed. They need to restrain him when somebody’s under arrest or they need some officer inside the ambulance. So they asked that question and everybody said, no, he is not under arrest. He’s not a threat. And after that fact, they decided to add the charge of resisting arrest, which we all know that’s a secondary charge.

Taya Graham:  What did you see of the officer’s response on the scene, on the body-worn camera? How would you describe how they handled the injuries and the damage they caused him? What was the demeanor of the officers during the medical crisis?

Corner’s News:  I would say they were in shock. Most of them didn’t even respond, didn’t know how to respond. One of them, the one that applied the tourniquets, appeared to be the most senior officer there. In my opinion, I don’t have their personal files or anything, but he took action right away. He applied the tourniquet and he asked for a second tourniquet and he applied the second one. And as far as the other deputy, they were in shock. Oh, one of them even said, I think he said 18 years and this is the first time this ever happened or something similar to this happened.

Taya Graham:  Do you know what Mr. Barrientos was charged with and how those charges are being adjudicated?

Corner’s News:  Mr. Barrientos was charged after the fact. At that point, they told him, you’re not under arrest. We can give you a ride wherever you want. So he was never under arrest. I’m not sure at what point they decided to add the charges to him, but eventually, they dropped them because to start off with a resistant arrest is a secondary charge. And there’s no element to meet that crime.

Taya Graham:  What does civil rights attorney Kevin Green have to say about the process of getting and even releasing the body camera footage?

Corner’s News:  Mr. Green, Kevin Green is his civil rights attorney. He’s based in Austin, Texas. He was saying that they have to file a suit in Zapata County for them to release it. They were trying to hold this for, it was for more than a year. This happened in April 2022, and they released the body camera last week. That says a lot from the department. Instead of them trying to show the public what happened and get some accountability or some responsibility for what happened, they were trying to hide it.

Taya Graham:  Have sheriffs involved in this case been charged or placed on leave? Has there been any disciplinary action taken?

Corner’s News:  No. I asked the attorney if there was any criminal investigation going on against the deputies that participated in this detainment/arrest. To his knowledge, no, there isn’t any criminal investigation going on. The sheriff, I’ve been getting word from people living in Zapata County that when we posted the video, the sheriff didn’t show up to work for a couple of days. And he’s up for reelection in 2024 again. And he’s not giving interviews, he’s not giving any statements, he’s not showing up to work. So that speaks volumes.

Taya Graham:  One question I have is because the body-worn camera footage is so graphic and so brutal, has it been difficult to get this information out to the community?

Corner’s News:  The platforms we use or the platforms I use, the most common platforms are YouTube and Facebook. And whenever there’s something that graphic it doesn’t recommend it like other videos. So first of all, it’s not monetized. YouTube doesn’t really recommend videos that are not monetized because they want to get their cut. As far as reaching out to people, it is getting attention but just by word of mouth or they’re sharing links. But as far as YouTube and Facebook recommending it, no, it’s not, because, first, it’s not monetized. They don’t recommend graphic videos, which in this case, it’s the most graphic that I’ve seen.

Taya Graham:  How is the community responding to the information you have released to the public about this case?

Corner’s News:  Well, a lot of them didn’t know about the incident. They found out when we released the video and the press conference. So a lot of them weren’t even aware of what was happening. There’s one lieutenant that used to work in that county that complained about Martinez’s actions. Martinez is the one that took down Mr. Barrientos. And before that incident, this lieutenant had complained to the sheriff and the sheriff told him that there was nothing wrong, that he had something against him. And after that, they fired the lieutenant because the lieutenant was complaining about the bad officers and he got fired for that.

Taya Graham:  How important is it for citizens who are First Amendment auditors or citizen journalists with YouTube channels, how important is your role in getting information like this out to the public? What do you think you offer that your local mainstream media doesn’t?

Corner’s News:  I’m very happy you asked this question. At the press conference, it was me, another citizen journalist from another county, Starr County, which is next to Zapata on the south end. And the other media that was there was the mainstream media from Laredo local news. They were there with their big cameras and everything. They haven’t posted anything yet. As far as I know, they haven’t posted anything regarding this case. I really think we do play a pretty important part in getting this news out to the public because if it wasn’t for us, they still wouldn’t know what was happening. Usually, local media doesn’t cover this type of incident: brutalities or civil rights cases. They don’t because they’re friends with the chief or they’re friends with city council members or whatever the case may be. But mainstream media doesn’t cover incidents of police misconduct, they don’t like dealing with this stuff.

Taya Graham:  Can you give me an update on your fight against being charged with RICO conspiracy for cop-watching with other people that have monetized YouTube channels?

Corner’s News:  So as far as the charges I currently have, the active one, the Livingston case, which you were mentioning, and the RICO charge, it’s four of us. Brandon just got re-indicted last week, I believe, for the same charge. Melanie’s charge got dismissed but according to what they’re saying out there is that the reason it got dismissed is because they want to re-indict her. Matthew and myself need to go to court on August 1. So we have an arraignment on August 1, so we’re still fighting that case. Currently, I am still facing two misdemeanor charges for interference with public duty. One from the Texas Department of Public Safety and the other one from the Laredo Police Department, which is still active. I still have those three cases pending, two misdemeanors and one felony.

Taya Graham:  How are you continuing your legal fight for First Amendment activities for the cop watchers in your community?

Corner’s News:  So the reason I sued in that incident is that an officer entered my property, my personal property when I was legally carrying my firearm. They cuffed me, they searched my pockets for my wallet and they went all the way, they even injured my rotator cuff. So I sued for that and that’s what I believe that’s what started everything. And even after that case, I didn’t get arrested. But after that, the incident where I got arrested for allegedly violating city ordinance when they had a COVID curfew, they arrested me for false charges as well for gathering when I was by myself, and that gathering’s got to be with two or more people in order to be considered gathered. That’s when I went full-time, no, I won’t say full-time, but full force trying to record all the interactions I had and interactions I saw in public. I started recording and after that, kept getting arrested and arrested.

So to this day, I had seven arrests. Before that, I had a clean record. As far as money, it’s expensive. It is very, very expensive. People comment on my social media that I’m here for a quick buck or a quick lawsuit and that never happens. There’s never a quick buck, there’s never a quick lawsuit. That never happens. You have to be in for a couple thousands of dollars before you get a criminal charge dismissed or before you file a lawsuit or before you win a lawsuit. As far as monetary, it is expensive and you also lose a lot of friends. Family members stop talking to you and that’s the personal cause one has for we’re doing what I do. I know I’m doing the right thing because I’m not violating the law. I’m not breaking the law. I’m not hurting anyone. I’m trying to expose the evil side of the government.

Taya Graham:  Now, if there is one lesson the horrific example of the police brutality we witnessed can teach us, it is this: holding police accountable is a process that requires us, the people, not the establishment, to work. Meaning, we can’t sit back and wait for elected officials or a local prosecutor, or as I said before, the mainstream media, to do anything unless we, meaning you and I, are willing to act. The fact that this case is simply stalled is a remarkable example of how police can protect themselves as long as we are willing to sit on our hands. It is exactly the type of case that proves the age-old adage: if you want something done right, do it yourself. How often have police only been held accountable because a cop watcher or citizen journalist decided to pick up their cell phone and record? How many times was it a citizen exercising their first amendment rights, not the police, who’ve exposed wrongdoing and broke through the thick blue line?

Remember, in our last livestream, we discussed how cop watchers, James Freeman and James Madison were both breaking stories about police corruption on their YouTube channels that the mainstream media had overlooked. Both had covered malfeasance and challenged the status quo and both were filling gaps in the coverage of our criminal justice system that had been ignored and needed more attention, not less. Case in point though on how the people are the best check on law enforcement is exemplified by a recent lawsuit settlement with the Kansas State Police over what was called, and I’m not kidding, the Kansas Two-Step. Now, before I explain that, let me set the scene a little bit. According to the lawsuit filed on behalf of an out-of-state motorist, Kansas State Police had a little racket going on the I-70 corridor that ran from Colorado across the state.

Because Colorado has legalized marijuana, the state troopers had conjured a way to make a pretextual stop to eventually ensnare drivers in a search. The lawsuit alleges the motive was simple: Since Colorado has legalized marijuana, the troopers would purposefully pull over cars with Colorado plates hoping to catch them with marijuana. To make this happen, the troopers would pull over drivers, write them a citation, and then engage in the so-called Kansas Two-Step because, as the lawsuit recounts, the trooper would begin to walk to his or her car, stop, turn around, and then try to engage the motorist in a conversation again. The idea was by extending the stop, the officer could convince the out-of-state motorist to consent to a search. The hope was that because the motorist was from Colorado, the tactic would net an arrest. Now, fortunately, several of the motorists who police attempted to ensnare sued the state of Kansas.

The plaintiffs were joined by the ACLU which helped file suit on their behalf. And interestingly, a federal district court judge in Kansas was more than sympathetic to their case. We know this because she issued a scathing opinion that basically called the police profiteers looking for a bounty on the highway, so to speak while trampling the rights of the motorists involved. In fact, let me just quote a few excerpts from the ruling. She characterized this policy as a war on our rights writing, “The war is basically a question of numbers. Stop enough cars and you’re bound to discover drugs. And what’s the harm if a few constitutional rights are trampled along the way? As a result, all drivers on I-70 have moving targets on their back.” She wrote in the opinion, which included an injunction ordering troopers to stop two-stepping.

Now, thinking about both the judge’s words and the way the Texas police have handled the story of Rigoberto Barrientos, I think we can see a predominant theme emerge, a throughline that we need to keep in mind when we debate how to hold law enforcement accountable and how to ensure police are doing what we pay them for, namely, focusing on public safety. If there is one theme and one word I could use to describe both of these cases of police abuse, I think it would be this: insular. The police literally have the power to insulate themselves from scrutiny. And when they do, it’s easy to see the adage that absolute power corrupts applies to a gun and a badge. One of the most common refrains I hear from people who we try to help on this show exemplifies this problem. I never thought the police had problems, they say, until it happened to me. This is why it’s so important to keep an eye on police and push back hard when they abuse their power, even if it doesn’t involve us directly.

The excessive use of force that led to an amputation has pretty much gone nowhere, literally no word of an investigation or even an examination of the series of events that led to it. Not a single official statement or pronouncement has promised to, at the very least, account for why the officers felt justified in using such extreme force. Meanwhile, a bunch of Kansas state troopers decided it would be fair and constitutional to simply terrorize innocent motorists to nab them for a crime that was literally legal across state lines, a scheme to take advantage of the disparity of laws to try to entrap and entangle innocent people in the expansive and precarious law enforcement net.

These same troopers were totally disengaged from keeping the highway safe or protecting the citizenry from reckless driving. Instead, deciding to notch bogus arrests, and maybe obtain some free weeded in the process. My point is that both these cases prove undoubtedly that as long as police feel they are immune to the law, it is up to us, again, the people, to disabuse them of this notion. When the police start to think they can rack up bogus tickets, make unnecessary arrests, and literally snap a man’s leg off during a routine encounter, the task is left to cell phone cameras, indie journalists, and YouTube channels to make sure that none of this ever happens again. That’s why independent journalists like myself and Stephen are so grateful for the cop watchers and citizen journalists we cover and speak to regularly.

That’s why we are both thankful and hopeful that a movement has sprung up in which the people, not the elites, hold cops and the powers that enable them accountable. It’s a reminder of what we both lost and gained in the evolution of social media platforms like YouTube, which give everyday citizens the ability to report the news. I liken it to the emergence of punk music in the 1970s and into the ’80s. The counter-culture movement that embraced the DIY, do-it-yourself ethos in both style and engagement, punk was stripped down authentic and people-powered music intended to pillory and usurp the gaudy and pretentious synthetic rockers who ruled the airwaves at the time. Punk simply stole the show by building a community of rebels and upending the world with music that was as revolutionary as it was aesthetically offensive. And when I say that, I do say it with love because I do indeed love punk music.

But let’s remember, it was the message, so to speak, to the powers that be, that our voices would be heard and that our right to speak out against corporate greed, unjust rest, and over-policing belonged to the people who suffered the consequences of these policies, not just the elites who implemented them. It was like cop-watching, a wholly organic uprising. Not just a political revolution, but a transformation of us, of our community, the people we’ve met and interviewed and spoken to, and the truths it has revealed. It was a profound and universal statement of the entire idea of an equitable and just community, that every voice should be heard. That’s why we produce this show. That’s why we listen to those who are ignored and that’s why we lift up the voices that will not remain silent, the voices of a movement that will not be ignored.

I want to thank my guest, Corner’s News for joining us and for his important work in getting the truth out. Thank you, Ismael. And of course, I have to thank Intrepid reporter, Stephen Janis, for his writing, research, and editing for the piece. Thank you, Stephen.

Stephen Janis:  Taya, thanks for having me. I really appreciate it.

Taya Graham:  And I want to thank friends and mods of the show, Noli D and Lacey R for their support. Thank you and a very special thanks to our Accountability Report Patreons, we appreciate you and I look forward to thanking each and every single one of you personally in our next live stream. And I want you watching to know that if you have video evidence of police misconduct or brutality, please share it with us and we might be able to investigate for you. Please reach out to us. You can email us tips privately at and share your evidence of police misconduct. You can also message us at Police Accountability Report on Facebook or Instagram or @EyesonPolice on Twitter. And of course, you can always message me directly @TayasBaltimore on Twitter and Facebook. And please like and comment. I really do read your comments and appreciate them. And we’ve got our Patreon link pinned in the comments below for Accountability Reports. So if you feel inspired, please do. Anything you can spare is greatly appreciated. My name is Taya Graham and I’m your host of the Police Accountability Report. Please be safe out there.

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Host & Producer
Stephen Janis is an award winning investigative reporter turned documentary filmmaker. His first feature film, The Friendliest Town was distributed by Gravitas Ventures and won an award of distinction from The Impact Doc Film Festival, and a humanitarian award from The Indie Film Fest. He is the co-host and creator of The Police Accountability Report on The Real News Network, which has received more than 10,000,000 views on YouTube. His work as a reporter has been featured on a variety of national shows including the Netflix reboot of Unsolved Mysteries, Dead of Night on Investigation Discovery Channel, Relentless on NBC, and Sins of the City on TV One.

He has co-authored several books on policing, corruption, and the root causes of violence including Why Do We Kill: The Pathology of Murder in Baltimore and You Can’t Stop Murder: Truths about Policing in Baltimore and Beyond. He is also the co-host of the true crime podcast Land of the Unsolved. Prior to joining The Real News, Janis won three Capital Emmys for investigative series working as an investigative producer for WBFF. Follow him on Twitter.

Host & Producer
Taya Graham is an award-winning investigative reporter who has covered U.S. politics, local government, and the criminal justice system. She is the host of TRNN's "Police Accountability Report," and producer and co-creator of the award-winning podcast "Truth and Reconciliation" on Baltimore's NPR affiliate WYPR. She has written extensively for a variety of publications including the Afro American Newspaper, the oldest black-owned publication in the country, and was a frequent contributor to Morgan State Radio at a historic HBCU. She has also produced two documentaries, including the feature-length film "The Friendliest Town." Although her reporting focuses on the criminal justice system and government accountability, she has provided on the ground coverage of presidential primaries and elections as well as local and state campaigns. Follow her on Twitter.