Jim DeFede joined CBS4 News in January 2006, providing regular commentary on the evening news. He now serves as an investigative reporter and a member of the CBS4 News I-Team.
Jim DeFede was born in Brooklyn, New York on August 11, 1962. Although his family remains in the same rent-controlled apartment building where he was raised, DeFede left Brooklyn when he was 19 to attend Colorado State University. Much to his mother’s continuing disappointment, however, DeFede never graduated from college.
In 1986, DeFede landed his first job in journalism as a night cops reporter for The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington.
In 1991, he accepted an offer to become a staff writer with the weekly newspaper Miami New Times, where he won numerous awards during his eleven year tenure with the paper.
Between 2002 and 2005, DeFede was a metro columnist for The Miami Herald.
DeFede was a regular contributing writer for Tina Brown’s Talk magazine and his work has also appeared in Radar, The New Republic, Newsday, Mother Jones, The (London) Independent, Miami Monthly, Key West Magazine and Loft.
His first book, “The Day The World Came To Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland,” was published in 2002 by HarperCollins and was recognized with a 2003 Christopher Award for its ability to “affirm the highest values of the human spirit.”
The failure by the grand juries in both Ferguson and Staten Island to indict police officers who killed unarmed black men, has prompted a national discussion on the divide between the police and some of the communities they are supposed to be serving. We explore this with community activist Henry Crespo.
Jim and Mayor Philip Levine look at the early days of his tenure on Miami Beach, the pressing issue of climate change and his future political ambitions. The millionaire is eyeing both a run for Miami Dade Mayor or a statewide run for the US Senate.
Con man Jimmy Sabatino would target some of the best hotels on South Beach.
In early December, the Miami-Dade County Commission is set to vote on whether to include transgender protection in the Human Rights Ordinance. That ordinance currently makes it illegal to discriminate against an individual based on age, gender, race and sexual orientation. Jim discusses this with former Miami-Dade commissioner Katy Sorenson, who is the original sponsor of the ordinance, and Anthony Verdugo, who is the executive director of the Christian Family Coalition. First we air an expanded version of Jim’s sit-down interview with Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, her husband Dexter Lehtinen, and their transgender son Rodrigo.
President Barack Obama moves forward with his executive action to extend protection to about 5 million individuals in the country illegally. Jim focuses on what it all means in a discussion with Cheryl Little, the executive director of Americans for Immigration Justice.
Rodrigo Lehtinen grew up in a household grounded in Republican politics.
Jim investigates the details of what unfolded the night four plainclothes officers arrested three young men in South Miami-Dade because they thought there was a marijuana cigarette on the ground near them. After we air Jim’s report, State Sen. Dwight Bullard joins Jim at the roundtable to discuss the questions the Miami-Dade PD has to answer about that night. They also talk about our marijuana laws and why so many communities have sought to decriminalize pot possession. Proponents say the current laws too often are used to disproportionately give black men criminal records and put them into the criminal justice system.
MDX has just completed its conversion to open road tolling in South Florida. Among other things, that triggers a hike in the tolls drivers will be paying on the Dolphin & Airport Expressways.
The toll increases are controversial. Jim talks to Javier Rodriguez who is the executive director for MDX, and Carlos Garcia of rollbacktolls.com, who is the head of the anti-toll group.
On August 27th at approximately 8:30 pm, four plain clothes Miami Dade Police officers pulled onto a dead end street in South Dade and arrested three young black men. The scene was captured on video camera.
Jim presides over a roundtable discussion of the election results including the races in Miami-Dade and Broward, with Miami Herald political writer Marc Caputo and Laura Wides Muñoz from the Associated Press.