The Ferguson Files is a project started by journalist David DesRoches to follow the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting death of Michael Brown by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson on Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014.
A native of central Virginia, David exposed systemic civil rights violations to children with disabilities by a public school district, which led to uncovering a nationwide failure to comply with and enforce the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. His work led to national news coverage, appearances on WNPR, and he was named the 2013 Reporter of the Year by the New England Newspaper and Press Association. The national Education Writers Association also awarded him a first place prize for investigative reporting in 2014 for his efforts.
His stories sparked numerous top-level resignations and district-wide restructuring of the special education program. Eventually the state of Connecticut created a commission to examine how to more effectively deliver special education, and the governor appointed a liaison to the disability community — both unprecedented in the state’s history.
David has also exposed prosecutorial misconduct during a hate crime trial, uncovered a controversial pesticide program that endangered honey bees, and called out publicly elected officials on violations to open information laws.
Prior to joining the journalism world, David lived in Ethiopia for one year working on a non-profit media project he co-founded called Project Image Ethiopia.