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Investigative Reporting: Breakdown in Bennington

The Bennington Monument against a blue sky.
Mike Dougherty
/
VTDigger

A year after Vermont's lone female Black representative in Vermont's Statehouse stepped down, VPR and partner, VTDigger, looked into what happened and why.

Kiah Morris resigned after becoming the target of a white nationalist who lived in her district. She was only the second Black woman to be elected to the legislature in Vermont and her resignation had a deep impact on communities of color in the state.

A series of Instagram messages.
Credit Vermont Attorney General, Courtesy
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The state's Attorney General conducted an investigation into the harassment but ultimately decided not to file charges. VPR and Vermont Digger obtained the AG's investigative file and combed through it for details about how thorough the investigation was and what kept the state's top prosecutor from acting further.

VPR reporter Peter Hirschfeld reported the findings in a series of five audio stories and worked with Alan Keays at the digital news outlet VTDigger. 

Below are two of those audio stories that represent the series:

vpr-news-breakdown-bennington-5-20200313.mp3
Part 5 of the investigative series, Breakdown in Bennington