___ people have been shot and killed by police in the past 12 months

The Post has tracked _____ fatal police shootings since 2015
Published

Police in the United States shoot and kill about 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 2022 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 2021.

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.

About this story

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 supplemented this database in 2022 by publishing police agency names and appending each agency’s unique federal identifying code. This work involved some manual cleanup. Agencies with multiple offices — such as state police departments and federal law enforcement agencies — were often combined into one code for ease of comparison against other full departments.

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 by these agencies.

The Post’s database is updated regularly as fatal shootings are reported and as facts emerge about individual cases. The Post seeks to make the database as comprehensive as possible. To provide information about fatal police shootings since Jan. 1, 2015, send us an email at policeshootingsfeedback@washpost.com.

There may be a lag between the date of the shooting and its inclusion in the database because of delays in reporting and data verification.

For a full data dictionary and methodology on the data collection, see here.

Credits

Research and Reporting: Jennifer Jenkins, Monika Mathur, John Muyskens, Razzan Nakhlawi, Steven Rich and Andrew Ba Tran.

Design and development: Chris Alcantara, Katlyn Alo, Emma Baker, Aaron Brezel, Armand Emamdjomeh, Jake Kara, Paige Moody, James O’Toole and Leslie Shapiro.

Editing: David Fallis, Sarah Childress, Reuben Fischer-Baum, Meghan Hoyer and Courtney Kan.

Past contributors: Keith L. Alexander, Sophie Andrews, Jason Bartz, Amy Brittain, Swetabh Changkakoti, Hong Sen Du, Kennedy Elliot, Linda Epstein, Holden Foreman, Joe Fox, Wendy Galietta, Kaeti Hinck, Laris Karklis, Kimberly Kindy, Whitney Leaming, Emily Liu, Wesley Lowery, Ted Mellnik, Lori Montgomery, Deblina Mukherjee, John Muyskens, Erik Reyna, Danielle Rindler, Kavya Sukumar, Julie Tate, Susan Tyler, Divya Verma, Aaron Williams.