Trymaine Lee

Emerson Fellow

Trymaine Lee was a Class of 2016 & 2017 Emerson Fellow at New America. He will write a book on the true costs of gun violence in the United States, in terms of lost dreams and wasted dollars, to be published by St. Martin’s Press. He is currently a national reporter for MSNBC. For more than a dozen years Lee has chronicled the role of race, violence, law enforcement, and politics in the lives of everyday Americans. Previously, Lee was a reporter at The Huffington Post where in 2012 he broke the Trayvon Martin story to a national audience. He has been a reporter at The New York Times and The Times-Picayune in New Orleans where he won a 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News as part of a team covering the fallout from Hurricane Katrina. Lee is a past recipient of the National Association of Black Journalists Emerging Journalist of the Year award and contributed reporting to The New York Times’ 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News for its coverage of the Gov. Eliot Spitzer sex scandal. He is a graduate of Rowan University and has a B.A. in journalism.    

All Work


Police play an indispensable role in our society. But the responsibility for keeping them accountable may lay with us, the people.

Can Art Change the Picture of Gun Violence in America?

Jonathan Ferrara and Trymaine Lee speak to the potential power of an exhibit that tries to answer that question.

On the Beat of Black Lives and Bloodshed

I learned to identify family members by the level of grief they’d show.

We Can't Keep Living, and Dying, By the Gun

Will 2016 be the year America enacts gun control? Trymaine Lee explores why it should be.

When cops kill, are murder charges enough?

By now, millions of people have witnessed the violent end of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald’s brief, troubled life. Through dark, grainy video,

Chicago releases dashcam video of Laquan McDonald’s fatal shooting

After several months of public pressure and a judge’s order last week, the city of Chicago released disturbing video of a white police offic

Rahm Emanuel: Killer cop took ‘law into his own hands’

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the police officer who fatally shot Laquan McDonald was not justified in killing the teen. “He was stripped