Fatal Shootings by U.S. Police Since 2015
The other day, I came across The Washington Post’s database of every fatal shooting in the United States by a police officer in the line of duty since January 1, 2015.
About the people and cases recorded, from their
The Post is documenting only those shootings in which a police officer, in the line of duty, shot and killed 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.
I pulled the data and created the interactive tables below, where you can search for a state or city and see the number of killings in that area. By default, they are sorted by the total number of deaths per place, but you can also sort them by the number of deaths by race.
Fatal shootings in every U.S. state since 2015
California has a much higher number of fatal shootings as compared to Texas, with over 300 more deaths. Hispanics are highly disproportionally affected in both states, as well as in Arizona and New Mexico.
To narrow down the 2,798 cities in the database, I’ve only included the cities with 10 or more killings.
U.S. cities with at least 10 fatal shootings
Los Angeles, the city with the most deaths in the state with the most deaths, has almost four times more killings than Bakersfield, the city with the second-most in California. To see the cities in a certain state, for example, you can search:
Racial demographics of the deaths vs. the U.S. Population
Overall, the Black community appears to clearly be disproportionately affected by this kind of violence. To see where they have been particularly affected, you can sort the number of killings per city by the number of Black people killed.
The Washington Post article I mentioned earlier presents their findings from the data, including a great plot that visualizes how Black Americans are killed at a rate twice as high as that of white Americans. They also discuss how the rate of shootings has remained steady each year and map where they occur and the number of shootings per million people.
More about the data
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 victim 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.