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The Washington Post is compiling a database of every fatal shooting in the United States by a police officer in the line of duty since 2015.


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Fatal Force Database

In 2015, The Post began tracking details about each police-involved killing in the United States — 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 manually culling local news reports, collecting information from law enforcement websites and social media, and monitoring independent databases such as Fatal Encounters and the now-defunct Killed by Police project. In many cases, The Post conducts additional reporting.

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.

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

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 by federal officials on average annually. That gap has widened in recent years, as the FBI in 2021 tracked only a third of departments’ fatal shootings.

The Post seeks to make records as comprehensive as possible; the database is updated regularly as fatal shootings are reported and as facts emerge about individual cases. At times, 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.

To provide information about fatal police shootings since Jan. 1, 2015, send us an email at

Explore the interactive database

Data Versions

  • Version 2:

    • Version 2 includes changes to improve the data schema, increase transparency around research methodology, and add data on law enforcement agencies.
    • Documentation and data formatted in the v2 data stucture can be found in /v2.
    • Details on the changes between v1 and v2 can be found in v2/
  • Version 1:

    • Data formatted in the v1 data structure can be found in /v1.


  • As of the official v2 release, the data files in /v2 include all records since 2015; historic records have been transformed into the new data schema.
  • The /v1 data is static as of the migration to v2; the data is no longer updated. Only the /v2 datasets are updated.

Contact & Contributing

We welcome assistance in making the our data as complete and accurate as possible.

Please reach out with any questions about the data, feedback, updated information or corrections. Before you do, take a moment to review the Code of Conduct.

The best way to contribute to the data, make suggestions or provide information about fatal police shootings since Jan. 1, 2015, is to send us an email at

Please note that we do not accept pull requests as the data file is automatically generated from our internal database.


The data is published under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.


Research and reporting: Jennifer Jenkins, Monika Mathur, 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: Sarah Childress, David Fallis, 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.


The Washington Post is compiling a database of every fatal shooting in the United States by a police officer in the line of duty since 2015.



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