Dominique Maria Bonessi | WYPR

Dominique Maria Bonessi


Before working in Baltimore, Dominique was a freelance reporter with WAMU and other international outlets in Washington D.C.  In 2016, Dominique was a reporting fellow with the International Center for Journalists to go to Turkey and cover lack of mental healthcare and educational resources for Syrian children and their families.  Her stories from Turkey appeared in The Atlantic, USA Today, US News & World Report, PRI’s The World, TRT World, and NPR.  She graduated cum laude from the George Washington University with a double B.A. in Journalism & Mass Communications and Arabic Language & Culture.As an Arabic and Spanish speaking Cuban-American, Dominique loves to document people’s stories no matter what language they speak.

Ways to Connect

Dominique Maria Bonessi

In December, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh launched her multi-agency initiative to reduce violence in the city. The city’s Department of Recreation and Parks responded by extending their hours and expanding their programs to keep kids off the streets.

WYPR went to Upton Boxing to check out the new programs for another installment in our series “As They Grow: Tracking changes for the next generation.”

Dominique Maria Bonessi

As Baltimore’s homicide rate reached record proportions—343 murders this year—Mayor Catherine Pugh held a candle light vigil for the victims last night at the War Memorial.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

The Federal Bureau of Investigation rejected the Baltimore Police Department’s request to take over the investigation of the shooting death of Homicide Detective Sean Suiter. Police Commissioner Kevin Davis says the department will go back to square one of the investigation.

Dominique Maria Bonessi / 1992

Baltimore residents are being hit with skyrocketing water bills and many of them are heading to the Department of Public Works’ customer service office looking for some relief.

There was 81-year-old, Mary Duckett, who walked out of the customer service office glaring at her $385 water bill for the last three month.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

University of Baltimore graduates and their families greeted U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos with mixed emotions. DeVos was the keynote speaker at UB’s winter commencement this afternoon.

Students and faculty from UB and other local schools critical of DeVos’s policies--including her stance on private schools and sexual assault on college campuses--protested outside the Lyric Theater.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Early Wednesday morning a fire broke out in a row home in the 700 block of East Cold Spring Lane in Northeast Baltimore. It killed two children, four and five, and an adult. Fire Chief Niles Ford said firefighters could not determine the cause of the fire, but said winter fires are common. He told WYPR how residents can protect their homes from those fires.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen came to Baltimore today to talk about immigration and Central American gangs. Sessions tied that to Baltimore’s soaring homicide rate.

Sessions spoke of increases in violent crime nationwide, in part fueled by the Central American gang, MS-13, then turned to Baltimore.

October first marked a milestone for Akai Alston. It was the first time the 25-year-old had been home for a whole year since he was 14. The rest of the time he’d been in and out of custody.

“You know me being a follower," says Alston. "Giving into peer pressure older guys manipulating me to do things."

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Governor Larry Hogan released a plan to crack down on crime in Baltimore Tuesday, criticizing Mayor Catherine Pugh’s efforts. But the mayor was not impressed.

Hogan announced more state police patrols, more probation agents serving warrants and other initiatives. Pugh responded Wednesday morning.

Over the next few weeks, the Baltimore City Police Department consent decree monitor is hosting community engagement forums to develop a monitoring plan. WYPR City Hall Reporter Dominique Maria Bonessi attended one at Frederick Douglas High in West Baltimore; she tells Nathan Sterner that the event did not go exactly as expected.


The Baltimore City Police Department trial board found Lieutenant Brian Rice not guilty on all charges on Friday. The trial began on November 14. Rice was the commanding officer on duty in the Western District on April 12, 2015, the day Freddie Gray was taken into police custody. 

WYPR reporter Dominique Maria Bonessi reported on the trial.

Closing arguments are expected today in the disciplinary trial of Baltimore Police Officer Brian Rice. Lieutenant Rice was the commanding officer during the incident that lead to the death of Freddie Gray in April of 2015. Yesterday, the defense called three witnesses – two of whom we heard from during the disciplinary trial for Officer Caesar Goodson. WYPR City Hall Reporter Dominique Maria Bonessi tells Nathan Sterner about their testimony, and previews today’s proceedings.


The disciplinary trial of Baltimore Police Officer Brian Rice enters its third day Wednesday. Lieutenant Rice was the commanding officer during the incident that led to the death of Freddie Gray in April 2015. Tensions ran high during Tuesday's proceedings. WYPR City Hall Reporter Dominique Maria Bonessi was there, and tells Nathan Sterner some of what happened.


A trial board hearing for Baltimore Police Officer Brian Rice got underway Monday. Lieutenant Rice was the commanding officer on duty in the Western District on the day Freddie Gray was arrested and suffered a fatal spinal injury in April of 2015. WYPR’s Dominique Maria Bonessi heard opening the arguments yesterday, and talked about them with Nathan Sterner.

House of Ruth Maryland

One in four women are likely to experience violence at the hands of an intimate partner. That’s according to House of Ruth Maryland, an organization that combats domestic violence.


Back in October, City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke moved to revive the city’s “Dollar House” program to revitalize blighted neighborhoods. On Wednesday, Councilman Zeke Cohen and a group of housing advocates delivered a petition with 20,000 signatures calling for more affordable housing in the city. And yesterday, the City Council had a hearing on Tax Increment Financing, or TIFs, like the $660 million deal Sagamore Development made with the city to develop Port Covington. WYPR’s city hall reporter Dominique Maria Bonessi joins Nathan Sterner to connect the dots.

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

The panel in the Baltimore Police Trial Board found Officer Caesar Goodson Jr. not guilty on all administrative charges today. The ruling was unanimous.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Closing arguments were delivered Monday in the administrative trial for Baltimore Police Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., the van driver in the Freddie Gray case. It's possible the outcome of the hearing will never be known. That's because while police trial boards are open to the public, Maryland law prevents the results of such cases from being released publicly. WYPR's Dominique Maria Bonessi has been following the disciplinary trial and talks about it with Nathan Sterner.


Officer Caesar Goodson, the van driver in the Freddie Gray case, has been facing a police trial board all week. Prosecutors have argued that Goodson’s failure to follow proper police procedure led to Gray’s death in April 2015 from a spinal cord injury suffered in the back of the van.

Gray was placed shackled and handcuffed in the back of the van. Prosecutors have said the lack of a seatbelt and Goodson's  failure to respond to Gray’s requests for medical treatment violated policy and led to Gray’s death.

Baltimore Ceasefire/Facebook

In late summer Baltimore residents organized a 72-hour “cease-fire” in hopes of stemming gun violence in their city. It wasn’t perfect. There were at least two homicides that weekend in August. But it led to Cease Fire 2.0, scheduled this weekend.

At the end of the last Ceasefire weekend, organizer Erricka Bridgeford said she wanted to continue the effort, but she didn’t know what it would look like.

Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., the van driver in the Freddie Gray case, will go before a Baltimore City Police Department trial board today. Goodson, who was acquitted on criminal charges in the April 2015 incident, faces departmental charges of misconduct.

The Baltimore City Council Committee hearing Wednesday night on revamping the 1980s-era "Dollar-A-House" program was packed.

WYPR City Hall Reporter Dominique Maria Bonessi was there, and talks about it with Nathan Sterner.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

The five-mile stretch of Baltimore's North Avenue -- from Belair Road to Hilton Street -- will be getting a face lift complete with new dedicated bike lanes, better bus stops, sidewalk improvements, bike facilities, and roadway renovations.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Baltimore officially submitted its proposal today to make Port Covington the site of Amazon’s second headquarters, or HQ2.

In an elaborate affair to say the least, the ceremony was complete with piano jazz and a multimedia production with the theme of “Why not Baltimore?”

A bill introduced in the Baltimore City Council Monday night would prohibit the expansion of the city's two crude oil terminals, and forbid the building of new ones.

A Baltimore police officer shot and killed a shotgun wielding 20-year-old man involved in an armed robbery at a 7-11 early Monday morning.

Police commissioner Kevin Davis said the officer, Kevin Amy, a 17-year veteran assigned to Northeastern District patrol, followed proper police procedure and turned on his body worn camera.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

While thousands of people in Baltimore City remain homeless, uninsured, or under insured, one event this week provided a one-stop shop to residents for dental work, vision care, job searching, and more.

Credit: Charlie Wambeke
Charlie Wambeke


Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh released her $350 million plan to reduce homelessness in the city today, but at least one homeless advocate sharply criticized it.

The 26-page plan drafted by a homelessness workgroup, recommends increased affordable housing, eviction prevention, improving the capacity and quality of family shelters and services and promoting a housing first model.

Baltimore Police

Trial boards for three of the five Baltimore police officers involved in the Freddie Gray case are to begin this month in public, but their results may remain private.

The hearings for Sgt. Alicia White, Lt. Brian Rice, and Officer Caesar Goodson Jr. may be open, but City Solicitor Andre Davis says it could be difficult making the outcomes of those hearings public.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Baltimore activists sharply criticized Mayor Catherine Pugh last week, tweeting she hadn’t done enough for tent city residents staying at the old Pinderhughes Elementary School. But the reality on the ground is different.