A FORMER John Kyrle High School pupil has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for 2021 for his contribution to an “unprecedented” investigative journalism series.

Washington-based journalist Lawrence Hurley, who works as a reporter for the world’s largest multimedia news provider Reuters, has been awarded the prize from Columbia University in the Explanatory Reporting category for his part in delivering an investigative series called ’Shielded’.

The ’Shielded’ series focuses on the “legacy of racial injustice” in the U.S, following a year of “tumultuous” protest over police killings of black Americans.

Lawrence, who specialises in legal affairs with a focus on the U.S. Supreme Court for Reuters, has won the prize as part of a team of journalists, who as part of their research examined the “little-known doctrine” known as qualified immunity, which Reuters Editor-in-Chief Alessandra Galloni describes as “a major reason why most victims of police violence are unable to win redress in American courts.”

“The series had a major impact, catapulting qualified immunity into the centre of the debate over how to reform American policing,” Alessandra said of the series.

Former John Kyrle student Lawrence started his journalism career in the late 1990s as a reporter for the Shrewsbury Chronicle and Gloucester Citizen before moving to the U.S. in the mid 2000s.

He has also worked as a Congressional and Supreme Court reporter for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and has been the Supreme Court correspondent for Reuters since 2013.

Founded in 1851, Reuters, which is the news and media division of Thomas Reuters, provides multimedia news coverage in more than 16 languages and reaches billions of people worldwide everyday.

Steve Hasker, president and CEO of Thomson Reuters, said of the prize winning team: “Winning a Pulitzer Prize speaks to the talent, rigour and dedication of Reuters journalists across beats and around the world. We are extremely proud of Andrew, Lawrence, Andrea, Jaimi, Jackie and team, and congratulate them for this tremendous honor.”