So far in his new role, Justin has brought to light Fairfax County police’s destruction of rape kits in unsolved crimes, chronicled the short and rocky tenure of a Black female police chief hired in Charlottesville after the 2017 Unite the Right rally, told the story of a woman who dated an alleged serial killer, and exposed the wild world of bourbon scams. He, along with Hannah Natanson, just won the Publisher’s Award for their work on the 6-year-old in Virginia who shot his teacher.
Justin started at The Post in 2009, when the newsroom and website were split, and moved to an early-morning breaking news beat in 2010. The following year, he began covering policing in Virginia, also focusing on criminal justice trends nationwide.
His eye for compelling tales and emerging trends in criminal justice has been apparent. He memorably wrote about how our smart devices are increasingly used as witnesses against us in court, a prison where infants live with their incarcerated moms, and a detective who pioneered the use of genetic genealogy to make arrests in crimes that had seemed unsolvable. He also broke news that a top deputy of Virginia’s attorney general had praised Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol rioters on social media, a story that led to her resignation.
Justin and his wife, Sandhya Somashekhar, an editor on the Business desk, live in Takoma Park with their two children.