Christopher Connelly

Reporter

Christopher Connelly is a political reporter for WYPR, covering the day-to-day movement and machinations in Annapolis. He comes to WYPR from NPR, where he was a Joan B. Kroc Fellow, produced for weekend All Things Considered and worked as a rundown editor for All Things Considered. Chris has a master’s degree in journalism from UC Berkeley. He’s reported for KALW (San Francisco), KUSP (Santa Cruz, Calif.) and KJZZ (Phoenix), and worked at StoryCorps in Brooklyn, N.Y. He’s filed stories on a range of topics, from a shortage of dog blood in canine blood banks to heroin addicts in Tanzania. He got his start in public radio at WYSO in Yellow Springs, Ohio, when he was a student at Antioch College.

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Christopher Connelly/WYPR

Sen. Barbara Mikulski was in Sandtown Monday to talk with clergy about criminal justice reforms at the federal level, and discussed measures being considered in the Senate aimed at strengthening police-community relations.

Mikulski is the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Appropriations committee.  That committee gave approval last week to a spending bill that includes initiatives Mikulski thinks can improve policing. She said the protests following the death of Freddie Gray from injuries sustained in police custodies put light to a problem that exists in communities across the nation.

Chesapeake Bay Program via flickr

Two environmental organizations are suing Gov. Larry Hogan for blocking proposed clean air regulations on his first day in office. The Sierra Club and Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility argue that the governor lacked the authority to pull back the rules aimed at reducing nitrogen oxides that are key ingredients in ozone.

Just before leaving office, the Maryland Department of the Environment under then-Gov. Martin O’Malley approved smog-combatting regulations that would have required coal-fired power plants to run pollution controls throughout the summer ozone season and forced upgrades to pollution control technology in older facilities.

Christopher Connelly/WYPR

A workgroup made up of Maryland lawmakers met today in Annapolis to start exploring potential policing and accountability reforms that can be done at the state level. It was a largely organizational meeting, but advocates ranging from the ACLU and the NAACP to Amnesty International and CASA de Maryland used the date as a chance to make it clear that advocates are ready to put pressure on lawmakers to make change happen.

The General Assembly's leadership convened the workgroup on public safety after protests against police use of force erupted across Baltimore following the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray from injuries sustained while in police custody.

via flickr by k1rsch

  In a little less than a month, the six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray will be arraigned in Baltimore Circuit Court. There are a number of questions outstanding in this case –more will crop up as more details emerge – but some big ones have already developed.

Christopher Connelly/WYPR

Martin O’Malley is expected to launch his campaign for president on Federal Hill tomorrow morning. The former Maryland Governor and Baltimore Mayor has been positioning himself over the as a progressive David to challenge the Goliath that is a Hillary Clinton campaign. It’s a record some progressives in the state dispute.

Christopher Connelly/WYPR

Gov. Larry Hogan signed 350 bills on Tuesday that were passed in the recent General Assembly session that ended last month. The list included some police accountability measures, bills aimed at improving the state's business climate and pieces of his own legislative agenda.

Christopher Connelly/WYPR

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan lifted the state of emergency on Wednesday that he initiated last Monday night after protests against the death of Freddie Gray turned into looting and rioting. The governor said there’s still a lot of work to be done to help the city recover and address the underlying cause of the rage that spilled out over the city’s streets.

A week after Baltimore’s mostly peaceful protests turned into riots, tensions flared again after a shot rang out at the intersection of Pennsylvania and North Avenues. Officers pursued a man carrying a handgun, which the police department says discharged when the revolver was dropped.

P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

Six police officers have been charged in the death of Freddie Gray with counts ranging from manslaughter and assault to false imprisonment.  One officer was charged with second degree murder.

Staff Sgt. Ron Lee via flickr

The streets of Baltimore were relatively clear after 10 o’clock on Tuesday night, due to a curfew instituted by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Black after rioters destroyed buildings and set fires across the city.

In the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood, home to Freddie Gray, where demonstrations throughout the day took on a fairly festive tone, many people streamed away as night fell and the curfew loomed. But a handful of activists committed to stay out and test the police.

Gray sustained a fatal spine injury while in police custody, and died last Sunday.

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