National Reporting winner
Fatal Shootings by Police
Post researchers identified 990 fatal shootings in 2015 – more than twice as many as had ever been recorded in a single year by the federal government – and Post data journalists and graphic designers built an interactive, searchable database detailing those incidents.
A team of Post reporters dug into the data and revealed that most of those who died were white men armed with guns who were killed by police in threatening circumstances. But The Post also uncovered some troubling patterns: A quarter of those killed were suicidal or had a history of mental illness. More than 50 of the officers involved had killed before. And while only 9 percent of people killed by police were not armed, unarmed black men were seven times more likely than whites to die by police gunfire.
To learn more about the genesis of the project, read our Q&A on Medium.
- Investigation: People shot and killed by police this year
- Thousands dead, few prosecuted
- Fatal police shootings in 2015 approaching 400 nationwide
- Distraught people, deadly results
- Black and unarmed
- Police withhold videos despite vows of transparency
- Deadly consequences while on duty and under fire
- Uneven justice
- Different shooting, same police officer
- A year of reckoning: Police fatally shoot nearly 1,000
General Nonfiction winner
“Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS”
Joby Warrick, Post staffer, won the Pulitzer for General Nonfiction for his book “Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS,” which was published by Doubleday in September 2015.
In the book, Warrick traces the origins of the Islamic State back to the war in Iraq and the rise of the Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi who emerged after the Bush administration falsely described him as the link between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden when it was attempting to make its case for an American invasion. “Black Flags,” and Warrick’s previous book, “The Triple Agent,” about a devastating suicide bombing targeting CIA officers in Afghanistan, are an outgrowth of his work as a Post national security correspondent, focused on the intelligence community and counterterrorism.
Feature Writing finalist
Eli Saslow is a finalist for the Pulitzer for Feature Writing for three timely and brutally honest stories about the effects of mass shootings, single fatherhood, and racial disharmony in America.
The first of the three, “A Survivor's Life,” tells the story of 16-year-old Cheyeanne Fitzgerald, a victim of the mass shooting at Oregon's Umpqua Community College in October, and one of seven to survive. The second, “You're One of Us Now,” led Saslow to tiny Auburn, Nebraska, population 3200, where the very few black residents included Troy Williams and his family, who had ended up in Auburn through improbable circumstances and, more improbably, were still there ten years later. His third, “A Father’s Initiative,” tells the story of Paul Gayle, a single father who had no job, no money, a new baby and 16 lessons from the Obama administration to teach him what to do next. Here, in the earnest and doomed character of Paul Gayle, is the truth of Obama's initiative to promote fatherhood for young black men.