What is a Citizen Investigator? (CINVI)

"To observe and report for the purpose of informing proper action"

A citizen investigator or "CINVI" (sometimes referred to as a 'Citizen Journalist') is a local citizen that utilizes their proximity to a point of interest to gather information on crimes and activities that are of concern to the African American Community. Using legal, traditional and unconventional means, a Cinvi’s job is to leverage their ability to visit areas of interest, local police stations and gather word of mouth intelligence from other citizens to gain clarity on local cases for the purpose of reporting findings to the non local community. Where possible, CINVI groups can work with local authorities by  providing them with findings that may aid them in their own investigations but understand that as long as they work within the confines of the law, CINVIs and CINVI groups have the right to exist.

Summary of Citizen Investigator group activities

CINVI groups are entirely voluntary

  • Gather Information

  • Write reports based on information

  • Desiminate information to the public

  • Support and facilitate fundraising efforts for retaining professional investigators as needed

  • Utilize the Freedom Of Information Act to obtain police records and available information relevant to local cases

One goal of the A3DL is to form CINVI groups across the country that can effectively gather information that will help our community stay informed on local cases. 


If you are interested in becoming a Citizen Investigator or would like to form a CINVI group in your area please fill out the contact form below.  

Download your free copy of 

'Handbook for Citizen Journalists'

(Right Click and "Save as" or "Download Linked File)

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Become a CINVI

Start a CINVI group in your city

(Please put "CINVI" in the subject line)

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