Deep dives

MEMPHIS, TN - March 25, 2018: Rev. Jesse Jackson (left) and Andrew Young (right) visit the balcony at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis where they were standing with Dr. Martin Luther king jr. the day he was killed.

'A wound that remains raw'

By Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN
The agitator and the diplomat grip the railing on the second-floor balcony of the Lorraine Motel, the spot where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. fell dead from an assassin's bullet. For the first time in 50 years, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Ambassador Andrew Young, the last surviving members of King's entourage that day, return to the balcony where their friend and mentor died.
Maame Biney Speed Skater Winter Olympics 2018 orig mg_00022623.jpg

Olympian wants to win gold; she's already won hearts

By Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN
As Maame Biney laces up her skates for one of her last practices before heading to the Winter Olympics, her mind drifts to her upcoming 18th birthday -- and the prospect of her first cell phone.
"Dad says he's going to get me one," she says, her permagrin on full display.

'You have to be prepared'

By Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN
A mile down the road, a heavily armed killer had just crashed his vehicle after committing the worst mass shooting in the state's history. Joel Robbins hopped in his car, where he keeps a loaded .38 revolver, and rushed to the scene.
His wife, Lynn Robbins, 63, didn't blink.

'Gurneys just kept coming'

By Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN
A quarter-century of surgical experience couldn't steel Dr. Michael Seiff for what he encountered entering Sunrise Hospital's emergency room Sunday night.
UC Berkeley student Ryan Kelley-Cahill, 19, a freshman studying business and political science, from Alameda.

Ann Coulter tests Berkeley's free speech credentials

By Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN
Judging from the talk about the University of California, Berkeley lately, you'd think the campus was filled with hypersensitive snowflakes covering their ears to block out ideas they don't like.
confederate flag charges georgia savidge dnt ac_00002211.jpg

2 years after racists crashed child's party, fears linger

By Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN
You might think it was over when the armed party-crashers drove their trucks, most of them bearing Confederate flags, away from the 6-year-old's birthday party. Or when some of them were arrested months later. Perhaps it seemed like a tidy conclusion when two of the ringleaders were handed lengthy prison terms this week.

Town's views on desegregation not so black and white

By Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN
A short jaunt east of the former railroad tracks that used to divide black and white in this town, you could hear cousins Lindell Little and Vell Mays cutting up as Little worked on his bicycle.

War vets find solace in four-legged friends

Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN
He was antisocial and difficult to work with at first. He'd clearly been abused by his father as evidenced by the deep, round scab near his shoulder. He hadn't been eating well.

Defendant had loud music spat, opened fire, ordered pizza

Eliott C. McLaughlin and Devon Sayers, CNN
It was the day after Thanksgiving 2012, and Michael Dunn had just left his son's wedding. He'd had two drinks but wasn't buzzed, and he and his girlfriend were in a "great mood" -- headed to a nice bed and breakfast in St. Augustine, Florida, where they planned to enjoy a bottle of wine, he told police.
On June 16, 1944, 14-year-old George Stinney became the youngest person ever executed in the United States.

New trial sought for George Stinney, executed at 14

Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN
Almost 70 years ago, South Carolina electrocuted 14-year-old George Stinney, the youngest person to be executed by an American state since the 1800s. Family members today say he's innocent, and while they can't bring him back, they want his name cleared.
Eric Holder, right, is being slammed for his appearance last week at a rally held by the Rev. Al Sharpton's group.

Holder appearance a sign of Sharpton's growing clout?

Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to speak at an annual convention of the Rev. Al Sharpton's group, in which Trayvon Martin was a key issue, has been widely panned as a political ploy.


    Deep dives



  • Predominantly a general assignment reporter throughout his career, Eliott worked as a writer and photographer for newspapers before freelancing for Dow Jones Newswire. He worked two years with The Associated Press before joining CNN, where he has contributed to CNN Digital, general newsgathering and special reports.

    An ATLien with British roots, he has a bachelor's in journalism from Auburn University with a minor in Spanish and studied at the University of Salamanca in Spain. He attended the Nikon School before attending graduate school at the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications, where he graduated in 2003 with a master's of mass communication and a cognate in Islamic studies.

    Eliott has written regularly on Africa, the Middle East, hip-hop, civil rights, courts and sports. He has covered a range of figures in court, including singers Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston, wide receiver Andre Rison, tight end Shannon Sharpe and running back Jamal Lewis. He also covered the Fort Collins, Colorado, proceedings surrounding Tim Masters, who was wrongly accused of murdering a woman when he was 15. He contributed field reporting to CNN's Hurricane Katrina, Jena Six and Ferguson, Missouri, coverage.

    Among his many notable interviews, he was the first reporter to speak with Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide after he went into exile in Central African Republic. He has also interviewed Maya Angelou, Ambassador Andrew Young, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton and has sat down with several hip-hop luminaries, including L.A. Reid, Nas, Common, ?uestlove of The Roots, Afeni Shakur (Tupac's mother), Lupe Fiasco, RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan, Talib Kweli, K'Naan, Big Boi of OutKast and Damian Marley.

    On a personal note, he enjoys soccer (Arsenal Gunners, Atlanta United and U.S. National Team), basketball (Atlanta Hawks) and American football (Dallas Cowboys and Auburn Tigers). He also likes hip-hop, fashion, food and horticulture (orchids in particular) and can occasionally be found writing fiction in his spare time.