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

California police use force at a higher rate against blacks, data shows

The state collected police shooting and use of force data for the first time — and found black people are shot at or hurt at triple their proportion of the population.

Water use jumps in dry, inland Southern California

Californians used five percent more water per capita this June than in 2016, when the state was suffering through a fifth year of drought. Gains were higher in some areas of SoCal.

A fairytale ending for (at least some) Alfred Angelo bridesmaids

At least three bridesmaids got their dresses, despite the company's abrupt closure. Its bankruptcy filing suggests more than 2,000 Californians await dresses.

Port proposal to clean up the air could cost up to $14B

The plan relies heavily on incentives to switch trucks and equipment over to zero emission technology, which critics say will not be ready, or cost effective, in time.

How legal pot could cut California’s police searches dramatically

Colorado and Washington saw searches by police officers fall sharply after legalizing marijuana — a trend that could have implications for California.

Map: See where the 34th Congressional District race was won

Gomez trounced Ahn by putting up big margins at precincts in Downtown Los Angeles and East Los Angeles. Explore precinct-level, semi-official results in this map.

Water saving efforts slipped in April, after drought ended

Californians used more water this April than they did in April 2016, according to state data. SoCal's water use was behind the uptick.

Fundraising in congressional race making race competitive

Voters in the 34th Congressional District in the Los Angeles pick their next U.S. House member Tuesday. If fundraising is any indication, the results may be close.

Final LA city election results settle pair of close races

Monica Rodriguez will be headed to the Los Angeles City Council and KellyGonez will join the L.A. Unified School District board, according to final election results.

Officer Involved: Drugs and alcohol pervasive in San Bernardino County police shootings

An investigation by KPCC and The San Bernardino Sun found more than 70 percent of 103 people shot by officers in San Bernardino County in a six-year period disclosed or tested positive for substance use.

Officer Involved San Bernardino: How we did it

KPCC and The San Bernardino Sun built a database tracking police shootings in San Bernardino County from 2010 through 2015, providing an unprecedented examination of police shootings in the county.

In San Bernardino County, officers take aim at moving cars

An investigation by KPCC and The San Bernardino Sun found officers in San Bernardino County shoot into moving cars at nearly double the rate of neighboring Los Angeles County.

Spending on LAUSD race shatters records

Outside groups have spent more than $14 million to influence voters. Smaller sums are being raised to sway decisions on a police oversight measure, the only citywide race.

Chart: Truck collisions as share of all collisions — in 55 California counties

Explore are the trends in collisions in 55 of California's 58 counties — each county with a population of at least 10,000. While you can see broad similarities between many counties, each graph tells its own story.

Chart: Truck collisions rise as share of all collisions

As the economy has picked up since 2009, more trucks have been on the roads. That's meant more big truck collisions, which have an outsized cost, both financially and in terms of human life. Not only have their numbers jumped, but the share of all collisions that involve a big truck has been on the rise.