I live in California, where I’m a staff writer at The Los Angeles Times covering the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. My work here has revealed names on a secret list of Sheriff’s deputies with histories of misconduct, prompting the district attorney to review past criminal cases featuring some of those officers.
Before that, I was a law enforcement reporter at The Advocate, Louisiana’s largest daily newspaper, based at its headquarters in Baton Rouge. There, I was the lead writer on a team that won a national Investigative Reporters and Editors award for our investigation of the long-serving warden of the notorious Angola Prison, who resigned following our stories. Our work also revealed the network of cronies and family members controlling the state’s prison system and our stories spurred criminal investigations into prison officials, some of whom have since been arrested and indicted.
While at The Advocate, I also covered the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling by Baton Rouge Police, the killings of three law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge, and widespread flooding that claimed more than a dozen lives.
My first journalism job was at The New York Times Magazine, where I was a news assistant and blog editor and wrote freelance stories for The New York Times. But I truly learned how to be a reporter by moving to Louisiana and working in the small newsroom of The Shreveport Times, where I regularly filed daily and enterprise stories as the only crime reporter.
For more than two years I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the West African country of Senegal; my writing from there was featured at The Huffington Post. I graduated from Vassar College and am originally from San Diego.
Contact: maya.lau (at) latimes.com
Snail mail: Maya Lau, News – 3rd Fl., Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90026
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