Robert Klemko

Washington, D.C.

Reporter covering policing and criminal justice reform

Education: University of Maryland, BA in Journalism

Robert Klemko covers criminal justice in America, from policing to the broader justice system and the ongoing campaign for reform. Klemko joined The Washington Post as an investigative reporter for the Sports section in 2019, after six years at Sports Illustrated, where he was a senior staff writer focusing on coverage of the National Football League.
Latest from Robert Klemko

Police agencies are desperate to hire. But they say few want the job.

Police departments across the U.S. are struggling to fill their ranks, creating what many officials say is a staffing emergency that threatens public safety.

May 27, 2023

Tyre Nichols’s family sues city of Memphis and police department

The lawsuit compares the beating of Tyre Nichols to the 1955 killing of Emmett Till and describes the officers involved as a “modern-day lynch mob.”

April 19, 2023

In Tennessee, second expelled Black Democratic lawmaker is reappointed

Reps. Justin Pearson, reinstated Wednesday, and Justin Jones, reinstated Monday, were expelled for leading a gun-control protest on the Tennessee House floor.

April 12, 2023

Experts say police response in Nashville was ‘exact opposite’ to Uvalde

Body-camera footage shows Nashville police officers rushing to confront an elementary school shooter armed with two assault-style weapons.

March 28, 2023

The policing paradox

America’s obsession with the AR-15 has consequences. In policing, the weapon on any given day can be an officer’s greatest threat or their most important tool.

March 27, 2023

Memphis police academy cut corners while scrambling to hire, officers say

Years before the police beating of Tyre Nichols, Memphis relaxed academic, disciplinary and fitness standards for recruits, nine current and former officers said.

March 12, 2023

5 ex-Memphis police officers plead not guilty in Tyre Nichols’s death

With the family of Tyre Nichols looking on in the courtroom, a judge schedules the next appearance for fired Memphis police officers for May 1.

February 17, 2023

Memphis police culture comes under scrutiny after Nichols beating

Residents describe violent tactics allegedly used by the police after Tyre Nichols died.

February 10, 2023

Memphis officers in Nichols case were disciplined in past, records show

Memphis police files released this week showed that four of the five officers charged in Tyre Nichols’s death had received past discipline from the department.

February 1, 2023

Tyre Nichols and the promise of police reform

After Tyre Nichols —a young Black man — was beaten to death by police in Memphis, the fact that the five officers charged are Black has prompted activists to grapple with the complex pervasiveness of institutional racism in policing.

January 30, 2023