Aaron Mendelson

Investigative Reporter

Contact Aaron Mendelson

I use data to power accountability journalism. That means digging through databases and public records to uncover stories about how your identity and zip code can affect the kind of justice you get in Southern California.

As a data reporter, my work spans different beats. I’ve covered the avalanche of outside money in local politics, spiking firearms sales, Los Angeles’ bicycle infrastructure, and police militarization. I helped build a unique database on police shootings in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties for KPCC’s Officer Involved project.

I attended Macalester College and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and got my start in journalism at KFAI Fresh Air Radio in Minneapolis.

Have a question you want me to answer? Ask me below.

Stories by Aaron Mendelson

One-third of water districts miss the mark on conservation

Several of those districts are in Southern California, and many are on track to miss their conservation targets because they didn't cut enough over the summer.

Officer Involved: Get the data behind the stories

The data cover details on why police shot 375 people in L.A. County. It's the first publicly available dataset of its kind in Southern California.

Military gear recall has little impact on local police

An effort by President Barack Obama to recall military gear from police departments has barely touched the thousands of pieces of equipment held by police in Southern California.

Officer Involved: Why this cop was prosecuted for a shooting

The last time an L.A. officer was charged for an on-duty shooting was 15 years ago. What makes it different from hundreds of other cases?

Officer Involved: Black people shot at disproportionate rate

Police in Los Angeles County fatally shoot black people at triple their proportion in the population, an analysis by KPCC has found.

Officer Involved: How we did it

KPCC reviewed documents from the L.A. district attorney, medical examiner, the sheriff's department and others to examine officer-involved shootings.

SoCal cities lagging on water savings hustle to catch up

More than 30 cities across Southern California are behind on their state-ordered water savings goal, and they will need to make substantial cuts to catch up.

Flood zones in Southern California

A strong El Niño climate pattern is on its way to Southern California, and might bring with it some much-needed rain. But that precipitation could be a double-edged sword, raising the possibility of flooding in a region struggling with drought. Explore KPCC's map to see if you live in a flood zone.

LA scrubs away 30 million square feet of graffiti each year

In recent years, the city has received record numbers of complaints about graffiti from citizens—more than 120,000 in 2014, a number 2015 is on pace to top.

Kamala Harris' crime data portal leaves out key details

California Attorney General Kamala Harris debuted a new website for the state's crime data, but users will find far less information than the state actually collects.

Watch a month of graffiti cleanup in Los Angeles

In the first month of 2015, graffiti abatement crews cleaned away 270,000 square feet of graffiti, 46 football fields' worth of the stuff.

LAUSD cuts ties to military weapons program

The move follows controversies over grenade launchers and a mine resistant vehicle the district obtained through the program, known as 1033.

Drought cutbacks challenge SoCal water officials at home

Many water officials in Southern California will need to cut back more at home to help their districts meet reduction targets, a KPCC analysis has found.

Map: Where campers and RVs are homes in Los Angeles County

Homelessness is on the rise in Los Angeles County, up 12 percent in the last two years. And more and more homeless people are sleeping in vehicles, including RVs and campers. KPCC mapped the areas of L.A. County that are home to people living in those vehicles.

LA County raises minimum wage in unincorporated areas

County supervisors followed L.A. city leaders in increasing the county's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020. The decision will affect those who work in unincorporated areas of the county.