P. Kenneth Burns

Kenneth Burns is a reporter for WYPR covering Baltimore City and Baltimore County.

Prior to joining WYPR, Kenneth worked at WBAL and WNAV in Annapolis.

The Prince George’s County native has been a journalist since high school.  He was a teen editor with Children’s Express, later becoming news editor with Young D.C., a newspaper written by high school students.  He started his professional career during his first year in college at WTOP in Washington, D.C.  Other career stops include a stint with Radio America and Salem Communications as a producer.  He also was a news contributor to WGMD in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  Kenneth also writes about Maryland Politics at mdpoliticsblog.com.

Kenneth, who lives in Baltimore, is a graduate of Anne Arundel Community College and has attended Towson University. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Black Journalists and the Online News Association.


1:37 pm
Fri May 22, 2015

Why People Are Leaving (or Staying) In Baltimore

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake giving remarks before results of an 18-month study looking at what pulls or drives residents away from Baltimore.

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 2:16 am

People who moved out of Baltimore in the last year and a half did so to get away from trash, property crimes, vacant houses, a high property tax rate and poor performing schools. And those who stayed said they like affordable housing, the ability to walk to work and a strong sense of community.

Those are the results of an 18-month study by the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance released Thursday at the University of Baltimore’s Jacob France Institute.

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Baltimore City
11:35 am
Wed May 20, 2015

What Does The Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill Of Rights Do?

A protest held on the one year anniversary of the in-custody death of Tyrone West. A city council hearing into the case brought public attention to a state law called the Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights which became a point of contention.

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 11:36 am


The Freddie Gray case has brought renew attention to a decades old  state law outlining due process for officers accused of wrong doing called the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights, or LEOBR.

Governor Marvin Mandel signed the bill into law with little fanfare on May 31, 1974. The Baltimore Sun mentioned it a day later as part of a list of bills that Mandel signed.

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Baltimore City
2:38 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

Cryor To Lead One Baltimore

Former state Democratic Party head Michael Cryor introduced as chairman of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's One Baltimore initiative.

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 12:28 pm

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced Wednesday that former state Democratic Party head Michael Cryor will chair her One Baltimore initiative.

Rawlings-Blake, who unveiled the initiative last Thursday, described it as “a comprehensive, public-private initiative to support the ongoing efforts to facilitate opportunities for the city’s children, families and neighborhoods."

For example, One Baltimore would be the central contact to connect jobs that become available to people who need them and provide training.

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Baltimore City
10:50 am
Wed May 13, 2015

Explaining the Justice Department Reviews

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced last Friday the Justice Department opened a "pattern or practice" investigation in to Baltimore Police; the third investigation opened by the department after the collaborative review and a civil rights investigation into the Freddie Gray case.

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 12:34 pm

The civil rights investigation of Baltimore’s police department that U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced last week is but one of three federal probes of policing in Baltimore. There’s also the “collaborative review” announced last October and a separate civil rights investigation into the Freddie Gray case.

Gray died of injuries sustained in police custody April 19.  Six officers involved with his detainment were charged in his death May 1.

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Baltimore City
2:33 pm
Sun May 10, 2015

Mayor Announces Initiative To Heal City

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Congressman Elijah Cummings signing the One Baltimore poster after announcing the initiative to address short-term and systemic problems in city neighborhoods.

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 10:56 pm

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced Thursday, from the center of the city’s unrest, a new collaboration between business, government and community organizations to address immediate needs and address systemic problems raised by last week’s riots.

The One Baltimore initiative is described as a comprehensive public-private collaboration to address immediate community needs as well as solve systemic issues such as education and job opportunities, health disparities and affordable housing.

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Baltimore City
12:31 pm
Fri May 8, 2015

DOJ to Investigate Baltimore Police

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 4:03 pm

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced Friday morning that the Justice Department will launch a full scale civil rights investigation into the Baltimore Police Department.

The announcement comes days after Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake requested the review and nearly two weeks after violence rocked the city in the aftermath of another in-custody death.

The Justice Department will look into whether city police engage in a “pattern or practice” of violating citizens’ constitutional rights.

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Baltimore City
3:05 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

Optimism In Investment After Turmoil

It took a decade for homes to get built on the north side of the 600-block of Baker Street in Druid Heights. Infrastructure is in place to build homes on the other side of the street. Kelly Little, former executive director of the Druid Heights Community Development Corporation, is optimistic that funding for the project will come through.

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 1:12 pm

From Greater Rosemont to Druid Heights, community leaders are seeing last week's riots in the city as an opportunity to attract the investment that by-passed Baltimore for other cities after riots in 1968 after the death of Rev. Martin Luther King.

"Hopefully if our leaders – not only government but the private sector, the foundations and everything – will get together and really focus and opportunities will be created," said Kelly Little,  former executive director of the Druid Heights Community Development Corporation.

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Baltimore City
1:36 am
Sun May 3, 2015

Six Officers Charged In Freddie Gray Death

Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby discusses the results of her investigation into the death of Freddie Gray

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 9:51 pm

Six police officers have been charged in the death of Freddie Gray with counts ranging from manslaughter and assault to false imprisonment.  One officer was charged with second degree murder.

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Baltimore City
8:08 am
Thu April 30, 2015

Douglass Students Say They Got A Bad Rap

The Rev. Jamal Bryant (standing) leading a discussion on the riots with students from Frederick Douglass High School as hip-hop artist Wale listens.

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 2:17 am

Students at Frederick Douglass High School bristled Wednesday at suggestions that they were involved in the riots that erupted near their school Monday after the funeral of 25-year-old Freddie Gray.

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Baltimore City
9:56 am
Tue April 28, 2015

Politics And Emotion Set Tone Of Freddie Gray Funeral

Funeral services for Freddie Gray were held at New Shiloh Baptist Church in West Baltimore where the atmosphere was emotionally and politically charged.

Originally published on Tue April 28, 2015 9:26 am

Before the riots broke out in West Baltimore Monday afternoon, speakers at the funeral of 25-year-old Freddie Gray at New Shiloh Baptist Church called for justice and reform.

The Rev. Jamal Bryant, pastor of the Empowerment Temple AME Church, delivered an impassioned eulogy called "Breaking the Box."

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