Behind The Lens

Behind The Lens episode 10: ‘We’ve been fighting BP for years’

This week on Behind The Lens, video of a drug bust leads to renewed questions about the city’s sprawling surveillance network. The news casts serious doubt on the city’s claim that it’s ever-expanding network of surveillance cameras are a “complaint-based system.” The Lens also takes a trip to Buras, Louisiana to hear from workers who helped clean up after the 2010 BP oil spill and are now suffering from medical problems and mounting debt.

Host and producer Tom Wright speaks with reporter Michael Stein about his story about a June drug bust that one defense attorney says shows the potential pitfalls of city’s surveillance system. She claims the surveillance may have violated her client’s civil rights. A police report claims an undercover officer was on the scene, but that’s not clear.

Wright also ventured to Buras, Louisiana to view “Disappearing Victims,” a documentary featuring people who were left ill after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. We hear from cleanup workers who are still fighting for help to pay for their mounting medical bills.

Reporter Marta Jewson provides an update on Harney Charter School. The Central City charter school’s board voted to surrender its charter to the school district. The district will likely take over for the remainder of the school year.

Behind The Lens is available on Apple Podcasts.

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About Marta Jewson

Marta Jewson covers education in New Orleans for The Lens. She began her reporting career covering charter schools for The Lens and helped found the hyperlocal news site Mid-City Messenger. Jewson returned to New Orleans in the fall of 2014 after covering education for the St. Cloud Times in Minnesota. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with majors in journalism and social welfare and a concentration in educational policy studies.