Reporter | Race and Immigration

Maya Rao covers race and immigration for the Star Tribune.

Rao wrote for The Press of Atlantic City and The Philadelphia Inquirer before moving to Minnesota in January 2012. She previously covered the federal government for the Star Tribune.

Bystander, key witness still reckoning with Floyd's death

The trauma of what Donald Williams saw one evening on May 25, 2020, has yet to recede. "I look somewhere else and it's like I'm always remembering," he said.

George Floyd's Texas friend seeks solace in Minneapolis

She hadn't wanted to come to Minnesota, but she needed to make peace with her friend's death.

Chauvin verdict seen as moment of victory in a history of injustice

It was far from a unanimous moment of elation, but many racial equality advocates took a moment to soak in what they saw as a rare instance of justice for Black Americans.

Outside courthouse, protesters press for a guilty verdict

Angel Smith-El admitted that she had some anxiety waiting for the jury to reach a verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin.Standing outside the Hennepin…

At Minneapolis shelter where George Floyd worked, pain runs deep

Frankie Powell still remembers how George Floyd would stop by the Salvation Army Harbor Light Center to joke and catch up with old friends.He cannot…

Retraumatized family of man killed in 2015 Brooklyn Center police encounter calls for change

Kevin Khottavongsa's father died in 2015 after Brooklyn Center police shot him in the back with a Taser.

Twin Cities business owners jolted, prepare again for unrest

Twin Cities business owners hurt during last summer's riots prepare again for unrest

Recovering clients see drug use stigmatized in Chauvin trial

For some men at Turning Point, where George Floyd attended a 90-day treatment program in 2017, the focus on his drug use is an example of how chemical dependency among African Americans can be disproportionately stigmatized and used to justify their mistreatment.

Activist turned Minnesota lawmaker 'unapologetic' about fighting racism in the shadow of Chauvin trial

Rep. John Thompson wants to use the legislative system to prevent another death in police custody.

Floyd's passenger emerges as complicated figure in Chauvin trial

Though Chauvin's attorney had told jurors that they would hear from passengers in the car who saw Floyd use drugs, Morries Lester Hall is avoiding testifying.