J. Brian Charles

Writer and journalist

United States of America

Reporter committed to producing high impact journalism.


Criminal Justice

Baltimore gangs agree to truce similar to one during 1992 riots in L.A.

BALTIMORE >> Rival gang members walked side by side down Pennsylvania Avenue to their cars. Not one menacing glare was exchanged by the dozens of gang members, despite a bloody feud between the crews that has raged for more than 40 years in cities across the country.

Southern California Gang Injunctions

More than 30 years since court injunctions were first imposed in Los Angeles County to radically alter the behavior of gang members, a grass-roots effort is building to challenge the sweeping restrictions as a violation of basic civil liberties. A $28 million class-action lawsuit filed against Los Angeles over its use of curfews in civil gang injunctions could be a game-changer.

City of Thorns: Despite reforms, Pasadena police still face controversy

PASADENA -- Two decades ago, a trio of Pasadena gang members stunned the City of Roses by gunning down six boys trick-or-treating, killing three and injuring three others on a night now known as the Halloween Massacre. Now, after a 20-year police crackdown against gangs in one of Southern California's most regal cities, the tide has turned, with crime at modern historic lows.

Poverty & Economics

New Haven divided by growing income disparity

NEW HAVEN >> The divide between New Haven's have and have-nots is growing, and at a more rapid clip than the state and the country, according to an analysis by DataHaven, which collects and analyzes demographic information on the region.

Connecticut's underemployed add to bleak jobs picture

Ellen Delisio hasn't held a full-time job since 2009. Delisio, of Middletown, who is guarded about her age fearing employers don't hire older workers, stopped collecting unemployment almost three years ago. To pay her bills, Delisio strings together freelance writing projects, leaving little time to dedicate to her job search.


Pasadena election may result in outside oversight of police department

PASADENA >> After years of stops and starts in the long fight over independent police oversight, Tuesday's election might be the tipping point. A group of candidates backing the police reform could be vaulted into power and usher in changes long sought by civil rights leaders and some residents.

Struggling Connecticut job market a key element of gubernatorial race

During his inauguration speech in 2011, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy vowed to grow Connecticut's economy and create jobs. Malloy took office in Connecticut on the heels of a crippling recession that had left millions across the country without work, evaporated billions of dollars in home equity and rocked consumer confidence in the economy.

State's 49th Assembly District home to changing demographic and multi-ethnic coalition

As the racial and ethnic makeup of the San Gabriel Valley continues to shift, a unique form of coalition building that has emerged may be a trend setter for the state and the nation. Over the past 20 years, cities like Rosemead, San Gabriel, Alhambra and Temple City have shifted from working class white neighborhoods to Latino and Asian strongholds.


Bigger Than Kendrick: Baltimore uprising rap confounds the mainstream media's take on political...

In a video released in late January, "Hip-Hop is Political Again. Here's Why,"  explanatory news site Vox sought to explain what it characterized as the reemergence of politically charged rap in 2015. In three minutes and a superficial analysis of hip-hop's on and off again relationship with political commentary we learn this: Tupac, Nas , and Notorious B.I.G.

Loyalty test: How we can sort out the Syrian refugees

There is no room at The Inn. That's what GOP presidential candidates, and at the time of writing this 31 states, have told the Syrian refugees that are washing up on European beaches like sea shells. Let's light up the "no vacancy" sign before a toddler turns Washington D.C.

So you think they're amateurs?

Let's not fool ourselves, former University of Missouri president Tim Wolfe's resignation was about money. $1 million dollars, give or take a few bucks. The media attention and outrage that saturated Twitter and Facebook didn't help Wolfe.

Social Issues

Volunteers comb Greater New Haven to help homeless

MILFORD >> Shortly after the sun broke over the horizon Tuesday, surveyors with the VA Errera Community Center descended a hill into a homeless camp tucked into a thin stretch of woods. The team of surveyors found Tom Grey sitting in what resembled a sunroom.

Teen pregnancy in Connecticut: City birth rates twice state average

In some of Connecticut's poorest cities, the number of children born to teenage mothers is more than twice the state average, according to recent data gathered by the University of Connecticut and the state Department of Education. From 2006 to 2010, there was an average of 22 pregnancies for every 1,000 teenage females.

American Homecomings
Homeless heroes: Vets get lost in bureaucracy after leaving armed services

Along the sunbaked banks of the Rio Hondo, Benny Perea squats in a squalid homeless camp littered with trash and reeking of urine and feces. The 78-year-old Navy veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars has few possessions: denim shorts, tank top, pair of jeans and a blanket.