Jodi Cohen Profile picture
Reporter @PropublicaIL. Alum @chicagotribune @detroitnews @michigandaily. Baseball mom to 3. Send tips to:
20 Jul 20
Update on Grace’s case: Despite pleas from her attorney and agreement from the prosecutor, the Oakland County judge decided the girl should stay in placement outside the home.

More to come.
Grace has done everything asked of her while detained/in treatment, caseworkers said.
The judge spoke at length about the troubled relationship between teen and mom:

"You are exactly where you are supposed to be. You are blooming there but there is more work to be done."
Grace responded, saying she had no physical fights with her mom since she was charged in November.

"It just proves I can be respectful, I can be obedient. I feel like that is being completely disregarded, no offense," she told the judge.
Read 4 tweets
14 Jul 20
When I answered the phone, the caller began by asking:
“Is there a ProPublica Michigan?”

She had a story to tell, about a teenage girl who was in juvenile detention for not doing her online schoolwork during the pandemic. The girl was her daughter.
(There’s no ProPublica Michigan, but I started looking into it anyway.)

A bit about the girl, Grace: she’s a HS sophomore. She’s been raised by her mother. She likes winter sports, road trips and composing music, her mother says. They appeared in a “Pure Michigan” tourism ad.
Grace is Black and lives in Oakland County, Michigan, a mostly white community and a county where a disproportionate percentage of Black youth are involved with the juvenile justice system. More on that later.
Read 21 tweets
9 Jan 20
1/ Illinois lawmakers heard three hours of testimony this week about seclusion and restraint in schools. It was emotional and, some said, long overdue. I want to share some quotes from the hearing that reflect the discussion.…
2/ @repjcarroll shared a personal story of his own traumatic experience with seclusion as a child. “It was horrible that we treat children with special needs the same way we treat our most hardened criminals,” he said.
@repjcarroll 3/ For context, here’s the story that sparked the hearing and the proposed state Senate and House bills to ban seclusion. It was reported, over a year, by me, @jsmithrichards and @lakeidrachavis, with help from too many others to fit in a tweet.…
Read 15 tweets
20 Dec 17
1/ While reporting on Chicago police misconduct, I met Xavier Hopkins, a musician who wrote a rap inspired in part by his run-in with police. Here’s a video I took of @itboy_X performing it. Watch it, then I'm going to tell you about what happened to him:
2/ Hopkins was 23 and a graduate student studying criminal justice. He and four friends were in town for @TasteofChi in 2009 when they were stopped by Officer Matthew O’Brien. They were handcuffed together as the officer searched Xavier’s car.
3/ The men, all college or graduate students, said the officer called them “dumbasses.” Reports show also show the officer made racial comments. Here’s a summary of the incident according to one of the men:
Read 9 tweets