Jason deBruyn

Data Reporter

Jason deBruyn is the WUNC data reporter, a position he took in September, 2016.

In the role, Jason investigates story lines hidden in data to uncover untold issues that matter to North Carolinians. He is passionate about giving a voice to the voiceless and using data to shine a light on disenfranchised groups who have been taken advantage of.

Prior to joining WUNC, Jason covered the business of health care and pharmaceuticals for Triangle Business Journal in Raleigh, an affiliate of the American City Business Journals network. His reporting roots trace to the Enquirer-Journal, a community newspaper in Monroe, North Carolina.

Courtesy Cynthia Bulik

UNC-Chapel Hill researchers have embarked on what could become the world's largest eating disorders genetic study.

Gerry Broome / AP Photo

In contrast to the chaotic presidential debate earlier in the week, the third and final face-off between the top contenders in North Carolina's senate race last night was relatively mellow.


A screenshot from an ad by Everytown for Gun Safety.
Everytown for Gun Safety / YouTube

Gun regulation advocates hope to flip the U.S. Senate this November. But they want to influence local elections in North Carolina, too.

To win, they're targeting suburban women with a new campaign.

Firearms sales have surged this year. That has led to a corresponding backlog of background checks, which gun regulation advocates worry will lead to more prohibited purchases.

Louis DeJoy
USPS

United States Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has long been a political fundraiser in North Carolina. He’s amassed millions for Republican candidates in races for governor, Congress and president. Now that fundraising has come under scrutiny for possibly violating campaign finance law while the postmaster was CEO of New Breed Logistics.

Protesters in downtown Graham on July 12, 2020. Among other demands, they wanted the Confederate monument in front of the courthouse removed.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Protesters are drenched with sweat as they make the mile-and-a-half walk from Burlington to Graham on a hot July day.

These Black Lives Matter protesters are heading to the town square where they’re greeted with insults and Confederate flags from a group of mainly white counter protesters.

Led by Reverend Greg Drumwright, he advises them to ignore the counter protesters. He said it's more important to get their message out to the masses.

Protesters march through the streets of downtown Raleigh on Aug. 28, 2020, in support of Black lives and against police brutality.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Updated at 10:32 a.m. Aug. 29, 2020

Hundreds of protesters gathered in downtown Raleigh Friday night to denounce police violence and the recent killings of Black Americans. Protesters marched peacefully for about three hours carrying signs with slogans including "Abolish the Police" and "Black Lives Matter."

Graham Protests
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

A federal court issued an emergency ruling this week, saying law enforcement likely violated the First Amendment rights of protesters in Alamance County. Protesters against police brutality and racial injustice have been met with stiff opposition from city and county officials, and from Confederate sympathizers.

A picture of lights on a police car.
Alejandro Mejía Greene/JubiloHaku / Flickr Creative Commons

Across the state, police traffic stops have dropped, but for white drivers they've declined twice as fast as for Black drivers.

Protesters calling for the removal of Confederate monument in Graham, North Carolina, face off with Confederate sympathizers on Saturday, July 11, 2020.
Jason de Bruyn / WUNC

There were tense moments in Graham over the weekend, as Black Lives Matter demonstrators came face-to-face with Confederate sympathizers.

Protesters in downtown Graham hold a Black Lives Matter flag on July 1, 2020.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

On July 1, a warm and muggy evening, a group of about 50 people gathered in downtown Graham to protest police brutality and racism. Most who drove by raised a clenched fist or thumbs up in support. Some flashed a different finger and had a different message.

This group of protesters followed very specific instructions. They stayed only in their designated corner of the small downtown square, located about halfway between Durham and Greensboro. And they stayed behind orange cones that police said were there for their protection.

The coronavirus pandemic appears to have helped spur an increase in gun sales. New preliminary research suggests those additional sales could be linked to higher rates of gun violence.

Graham Protests
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Activists in Alamance County are calling for policy overhauls to prevent police brutality, especially against Black people. And another group of protesters want a Confederate monument removed from downtown Graham, the county seat.

A statue on the ground with yellow caution tape and a cone on it.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Protesters in Raleigh pulled down parts of a Confederate monument Friday night after marching in celebration of Juneteenth.

an eviction notice on a front door
Steve Rhodes / Creative Commons/http://bit.ly/2HmJ9nV

A statewide moratorium on evictions in North Carolina expires this Sunday, unless Governor Roy Cooper extends it.

Dr. Abhi Mehrotra in the UNC Hospitals Emergency Department.
UNC Health

As North Carolina sees more and more people hospitalized due to COVID-19, doctors at Triangle hospitals express concern, but also confidence that the state's health care systems are better positioned to handle an influx of patients than they were three months ago.

Protesters and police in riot gear face off at demonstrations on Sunday night in Raleigh.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Images and video from Saturday and Sunday nights in Raleigh have ricocheted across the internet. Cameras captured heavily armored police and sheriff’s deputies pushing protesters with sticks, the air thick with tear gas. On Sunday, Raleigh Mayor Mary Ann Baldwin criticized the rioting and looting that took place.

Line of police officers in riot gear face a line of kneeling protesters.
Jason deBruyn/WUNC

For the last three nights, people in communities around North Carolina raised their voices and demonstrated against police brutality against black people. The death of George Floyd sparked these protests in the Tar Heel state and around the country.

Volunteers work to clean up and repair damage in downtown Raleigh, N.C., after a night of angry clashes between police and protestors left much of Downtown Raleigh damaged on Sunday, May 31, 2020.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Protests broke out in several North Carolina cities over the weekend. Almost all of them began peacefully, but as darkness descended each night, violent confrontations and looting took place in Fayetteville, Charlotte, and Raleigh. It was particularly damaging in the state capitol, where protestors damaged almost every storefront on Fayetteville Street.

Protesters march through downtown Raleigh on Saturday, May 30, 2020 to denouce the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Peyton Sickles / For WUNC

Updated at 8:34 a.m.

More than 1,000 protesters walked through downtown Raleigh Saturday evening to denounce the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Some carried signs that said "I can't breathe" and "Racism is not patriotism." Others chanted "No justice, No peace."

Emergency Management Coordinators Conor Bake (left), Taylor Jones and Catherine Hughes listen to a webinar presented by Division Director Don Campbell from his office in Greensboro during the response to the COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, May 14.
Scott Muthersbaugh / Guilford County Emergency Services

North Carolina is no stranger to emergencies. When severe weather moves in — be it an ice storm or hurricane — there's a predictable path, an event that's relatively short, and a recovery that's pre-planned based on years of experience.

This is different. A stealth raider moves across the state in invisible waves. And for the first time, all of North Carolina is under a federal state of emergency as a global pandemic takes root. The state has recorded more than 19,400 cases (as of Tuesday May 19) and the virus has spread across all 100 of the state's counties. There have been 682 deaths from COVID-19, according to DHHS figures.

Jason deBruyn/WUNC

A small group, mostly armed, walked the streets of downtown Raleigh Saturday in support of their Second Amendment rights. 

Sara Fearrington is a Waffle House worker and married to a husband with a chronic lung condition. She advocates for higher pay and better health benefits for frontline workers.
Sara Fearrington / Contributed

In order to make it to her first shift at Waffle House, Sara Fearrington gets up at 5 a.m. to be out the door on time to catch the first bus into the downtown Durham terminal. She then transfers to the No. 12 line out to the restaurant on Highway 55, which usually gets her there at about 6:45 a.m. – enough time to get ready and clock in by 7 a.m.

Randall Moore, center with tan pants, spoke with Raleigh police about the rules about openly carrying firearms during a protest.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Nine protesters armed with military-style weapons and clothing gathered at the entrance of Oakwood Cemetery in downtown Raleigh Friday morning. Some of those protesters joined with a slightly larger group Friday afternoon to march around the downtown government district in protest of Gov. Roy Cooper's orders to slow the spread of the coronavirus. They said the measures infringed on their Constitutional rights.

Semi-Automatic handguns are displayed at Duke's Sport Shop, Wednesday, March 25, 2020, in New Castle, Pa.
Keith Srakocic / AP

The coronavirus pandemic has driven up gun sales across the nation, including in North Carolina. While there's no way to track the types of guns sold, gun store owners in Wake County are saying most of the increased demand is from first-time gun owners, and those buying firearms for self defense.

N.C. Governor Roy Cooper and N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen.
N.C. Department of Public Safety

Governor Roy Cooper extended North Carolina's stay-at-home order until at least May 8. The order was issued to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

This means the social distancing measures in place since March 30 will continue. Those include the mandated closures of restaurants for dine-in service and bars, along with the closure of other close-contact businesses.

Glenwood Avenue in downtown Raleigh has seen far less traffic than normal as retail businesses, including bars and restaurants, are closed to dine-in traffic.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Business optimism fell to a low point not seen since the Great Recession. But tucked in the latest survey of chief financial officers are breadcrumbs of hope for reviving the economy after the coronavirus pandemic passes.

N.C. Prisons began staff medical screenings to reduce chances of COVID-19 getting into facilities. Efforts began March 20 and were implemented system-wide after no-touch thermometers arrived.
N.C. Department of Public Safety

In an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19, North Carolina prisons will release some non-violent offenders early, officials with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety announced Monday.

An illustration created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows the structure of coronavirus. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Alissa Eckert, MS, Dan Higgins, MAM / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Four people at Wellington Rehabilitation and Healthcare in Knightdale have tested positive for the coronavirus, the first outbreak of COVID-19 at a long-term care facility in Wake County.

Medical student Claire Chen, right, takes a man's temperature while screening for possible coronavirus cases at a makeshift camp for the homeless Saturday, March 28, 2020, in Las Vegas.
John Locher / AP

Dr. Brian Klausner holds a special passion for providing medical care to homeless patients.

"The homeless community is just particularly vulnerable," said Klausner, medical director of WakeMed Community Population Health. "There is a lot of reason for concern."

As the coronavirus spreads throughout North Carolina, health experts like Klausner almost universally worry about how quickly COVID-19 could spread in homeless populations. Not only are those who suffer homelessness more susceptible to illness, but they also lack homes in which to shelter. If one person contracts the virus and then stays in a shelter, that person could easily spread the virus to others in that shelter.

Pages