The Baltimore Sun's coverage of the death of Freddie Gray was honored Thursday by the journalism organization Investigative Reporters & Editors as last year's best investigation triggered by breaking news.
Judges said The Sun "brought meaning to the chaos that followed the death of Freddie Gray in police custody."
Coverage included a detailed timeline of the day Gray suffered his fatal injury and revelations that police often did not seek medical care for detainees when they asked for it.
Gray was arrested in West Baltimore on April 12 and suffered a spinal injury while riding in the back of a Baltimore Police van. He died a week later, and his death spurred weeks of protests and the riots of April 27. Six police officers were charged in his arrest and death.
The organization honored work by Sun reporters Meredith Cohn, Scott Dance, Doug Donovan, Justin Fenton, Justin George, Jean Marbella, Mark Puente, Kevin Rector and Catherine Rentz; interactive designers Greg Kohn, Adam Marton and Patrick Maynard; photographers Amy Davis, Karl Merton Ferron, Kenneth K. Lam; video producer and editor Christopher T. Assaf; and researcher Paul McCardell.
Finalists in the category were the Houston Chronicle for coverage of the suicide of Sandra Bland in a Texas jail cell and AL.com for its investigation of voter suppression in majority-black Alabama counties.
The article and accompanying online package "The 45-Minute Mystery of Freddie Gray's Death" also was chosen as a finalist for innovation in investigative journalism by a medium-size outlet. That award recognized Rector, Rentz, Kohn, Marton, Assaf, Davis and Lam.
The winner in that category was an investigation of police shootings in Georgia by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSB-TV. The Boston Globe and Oregon Public Broadcasting were the other finalists.