On average, police in the United States shoot and kill more than 1,000 people every year, according to an ongoing analysis by The Washington Post.
After Michael Brown, an unarmed Black man, was killed in 2014 by police in Ferguson, Mo., a Post investigation found that data reported to the FBI on fatal police shootings was undercounted by more than half. That gap has widened in recent years. By 2021, only a third of departments’ fatal shootings appeared in the FBI database.
This is largely because local police departments are not required to report these incidents to the federal government. Also compounding the problem: an updated FBI system for reporting data and confusion among local law enforcement about reporting responsibilities.
As part of its investigation, The Post began in 2015 to log every person shot and killed by an on-duty police officer in the United States. Since then, reporters have recorded thousands of deaths. In 2022, The Post updated its database to standardize and publish the names of the police agencies involved in each shooting to better measure accountability at the department level.
How 2023 compares with previous calendar years
The number of fatal police shootings has risen slightly in recent years. Police killed the highest number of people on record in 2022.
Black Americans are killed at a much higher rate than White Americans
Although half of the people shot and killed by police are White, Black Americans are shot at a disproportionate rate. They account for roughly 14 percent of the U.S. population and are killed by police at more than twice the rate of White Americans. Hispanic Americans are also killed by police at a disproportionate rate.
Most victims are young
More than half of people shot and killed by police are between 20 and 40 years old.
An overwhelming majority of the victims are male — over 95 percent.
Explore the data
This database contains records of every person shot by an on-duty police officer since Jan. 1, 2015, as well as the agencies involved in each event. It is updated regularly as fatal shootings are reported and as facts emerge about individual cases.