Donovan England
Donovan England do-no-van ing-land (he/him/his)
Inasmuch Foundation Fellow

Donovan England is working toward his undergraduate degree in journalism at the University of Oklahoma. England has used his storytelling skills on the newscast OU Nightly and hopes to make a career in TV news or online journalism.

‘Back the Blue’ laws protect police, expand qualified immunity from lawsuits

ALTOONA, Iowa – After the nationwide protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, states have enacted laws to protect police under hate crime law, cementing qualified immunity from lawsuits and, in Arizona, a limit on filming police that has drawn controversy.

Police Capt. Mike McKelvey walks to his police vehicle in Mason City, Iowa. He says he appreciates the state’s Back the Blue Act but thinks more attention should be paid to officer retention and salaries. (Photo by Sarah Emily Baum/News21)

Exodus from police departments could be an opportunity for change

PHOENIX – Police departments across the country are in a workforce crisis. Some leaders see this as an opportunity, and they’re trying harder to attract candidates who reflect the communities they serve, with a focus on women, people of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Policymakers, activists and nonprofits lead way to bring more transparency to police departments

ARLINGTON, Texas – The call to increase transparency has become a standard rallying cry in police reform, but efforts have met with resistance. Some states, cities and police departments have made progress to open records. And sometimes, outside forces have stepped in when they don’t.

Police, public and policymakers work to improve responses to mental health crises

SALT LAKE CITY – Police have become the de facto mental health responders across the country, often with tragic results. Most strategies to deal with mental health calls focus on shifting funds to social services, creating diversion programs and better training for officers. Experts say the solution relies on a combination of efforts.

Rae Duckworth holds a “Justice for Bobby” sticker on July 2, 2022, near murals in Salt Lake City remembering the victims of police shootings. After her cousin, Bobby Duckworth, was killed during a mental health call in 2019, Duckworth began passing out these stickers to keep his memory alive. (Photo by Laura Bargfeld/News21)

Battle for police reform has been fought for decades

OAKLAND, Calif. – Activists are pushing for police reform, building on the struggles of the past to improve the future of policing in the U.S. To long-time activist Elaine Brown in Oakland, that means being willing to risk your job, to consistently confront the uncomfortable.

Marion Gray-Hopkins visits the resting place of her son, Gary Hopkins Jr,. at the Fort Lincoln Funeral Home & Cemetery in Brentwood, Maryland. The 19-year-old was shot and killed by a police officer in 1999. (Photo by Dianie Chavez/News21)

States seek ways to provide police misconduct information

SALT LAKE CITY – About a dozen states provide what’s commonly known as “integrity bulletins,” which contain information about complaints against law enforcement and investigation outcomes, but typically don't include identifying information – such as the officer’s name.