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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.
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Stories by Aaron Mendelson
LAPD officers shot then-gang member Robert Contreras in the back and left him paralyzed. Officers thought he had a gun, but he ended up being unarmed.
Cristian Rene Medina, 23, allegedly took a "shooting stance" and pointed his hands at deputies responding to reports of a robbery. No gun has been found.
The school district's police force turned in rifles under public pressure but continues to hold onto pistols, rifles and other military-style weapons.
The L.A. area got drenched Sunday, with some areas getting up to three inches of rain. It's an El Niño year. So how does this year's rainfall compare to normal?
How much rain has El Niño brought to the Los Angeles area? We crunched rainfall data from 20 rain gauges in greater Southern California to get an answer.
New data shows that Californians rushed to purchase guns last month, especially in the days after the San Bernardino shooting.
This user-friendly database shows 2015-16 vaccination exemption rates for incoming kindergartners at schools across Southern California.
Deaths among homeless people in Orange County jumped 53 percent over the last two years, according to coroner's data.
Rifles used in a mass shooting at a Dec. 2 holiday party at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino were legal to purchase in the state of California. However both had been modified to make them illegal under the state's assault weapons ban. Here's a primer on that ban.
The number of shootings by police so far this year is up from 2014, when the district attorney counted 74 such incidents.
Southern California's Muslim community is small but diverse, spanning every county in the region and encompassing several ethnic and national backgrounds.
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.
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.
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.
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?