Conor Friedersdorf

Conor Friedersdorf

Conor Friedersdorf is a California-based staff writer at The Atlantic, where he focuses on politics and national affairs. He is the founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction.

National Guardsmen face off against demonstrators in Chicago in 1968.

When the Army Planned for a Fight in U.S. Cities

In 1968, one retired colonel warned that urban insurrections could produce “scenes of destruction approaching those of Stalingrad.”

How Venice Beach Became a Neighborhood for the Wealthy

And what that means for affordable housing across the country.

A police officer escorts a man in handcuffs

Is Policing Trampling Civil Rights in Mississippi?

Sheriff’s deputies left black residents in “a permanent state of siege,” 11 plaintiffs allege in a lawsuit filed by the ACLU.

The San Francisco Police Department's Bigotry Problem

How many racist text threads among cops will it take for officials to recognize systemic problems?

A Police Department's Secret Formula for Judging Danger

What causes a private company’s algorithm to label some people and addresses as more threatening than others?

The Deadliest County for Police Killings in America

In Kern County, California, cops kill 1.5 people per 100,000 residents—prompting an investigation by The Guardian, but not by state or federal overseers.

The NYPD Has a Fleet of Vans With X-Ray Vision

New York City won’t reveal how often cops bombard places, vehicles, or people with radiation—or if there are health risks for residents.

Why Police Can't Be Trusted to Decide If Video Should Be Public

The killing of an unarmed man in Gardena, California, and the weak rationale for suppressing dashboard cam footage of the encounter.

When Police Brutality Goes Beyond a 'Bad Apple' Cop

Video footage documents rotten behavior by as many as 11 deputies in San Bernardino County, California.

Smile, NYPD Officers, You're Being Recorded

A cop taunts, intimidates, and disrespects an immigrant Uber driverand is caught and punished because a passenger captured it all on video.

Santa Monica's Dysfunctional Taxi Regulations

In an era of Uber and Lyft, this California city's rules for cabs make no sense.

The Danger of Being Neighborly Without a Permit

All over America, people have put small "give one, take one" book exchanges in front of their homes. Then they were told to tear them down.

Who Should See Recordings From Police Bodycams?

The dilemma with letting cops choose what to turn over—or releasing everything they see.

In Defense of Waze, Which Doesn't Put Police in Danger

Officers are railing against the traffic app's cop-tracking alerts, demanding that Google stop the service to drivers.

The NYPD's Insubordination—and Why the Right Should Oppose It

The virtual work stoppage unfolding in New York City illustrates one of several ways that powerful police unions can threaten public safety as they seek political leverage.

Witnesses Saw Michael Brown Attacking–and Others Saw Him Giving Up

Officer Darren Wilson was spared criminal charges in part because of significant contradictions in the testimony of bystanders who saw the Ferguson, Missouri, teen get shot and killed.

The Biggest 2014 Election Losers: Marijuana Prohibitionists

The fortunes of political parties wax and wane, whereas the movement to legalize cannabis won key victories Tuesday that portend a generational shift in drug policy.

A Dispatch From the Cutting Edge of TSA Innovation

Officials in charge of airport security are rediscovering the wisdom of a bygone era, when shoes stayed on and liquid didn't have to be put in plastic bags.

The City Where Blacks Suffer Under 'Stop and Frisk on Steroids'

Police abuses in Miami Gardens, Florida, are staggering, but few Americans seem to care. 

How Police Spied on a Whole City

In a secret test, the L.A. County Sheriff's Department sent a civilian aircraft over Compton, capturing high-resolution video of everything.

The Brutality of the Albuquerque Police

A federal review has found that officers routinely used unnecessary force against citizens.