FATAL FORCE

The Washington Post's Fatal Force Project are off to a good start, but we think there is room for improvement when it comes to the completeness and veracity of the data being used to draw conclusions and insights on this issue. We are looking to take the existing data and complement it with crowd-sourced research efforts. 

To make this easier and integrate additional data points into what the Post has already provided, we have created a form for submitting potential missing datapoints. This includes any missing fields in the existing data or even any unreported incidents that may not already be reflected. As this project progresses, we will create an enhanced data model and  analyze the improved dataset for more meaningful and accurate insights .

A interactive analysis of the existing dataset is provided for desktop and tablet users below.

Police Cars

The Washington Post's database contains records of every fatal shooting in the United States by a police officer in the line of duty since Jan. 1, 2015.

In 2015, The Post began tracking more than a dozen details about each killing — including the race of the deceased, the circumstances of the shooting, whether the person was armed and whether the person was experiencing a mental-health crisis — by culling local news reports, law enforcement websites and social media, and by monitoring independent databases such as Killed by Police and Fatal Encounters. The Post conducted additional reporting in many cases.

The Post is documenting only those shootings in which a police officer, in the line of duty, shoots and kills a civilian — the circumstances that most closely parallel the 2014 killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., which began the protest movement culminating in Black Lives Matter and an increased focus on police accountability nationwide. The Post is not tracking deaths of people in police custody, fatal shootings by off-duty officers or non-shooting deaths.

The FBI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention log fatal shootings by police, but officials acknowledge that their data is incomplete. Since 2015, The Post has documented more than twice as many fatal shootings by police as recorded on average annually.

The Post’s database is updated regularly as shootings are reported and facts emerge. The Post seeks to make the database as comprehensive as possible.

 [Download the data]