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The Washington Post is an American daily newspaper. It is the most widely circulated newspaper published in Washington, D.C., and was founded on December 6, 1877. The newspaper has a particular emphasis on national politics. Daily editions are printed for the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. The newspaper is published as a broadsheet, with photographs printed both in color and in black and white. The newspaper is owned by Nash Holdings LLC, a holding company Bezos created for the acquisition.
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 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 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.
In 2016, The Post is gathering additional information about each fatal shooting that occurs this year and is filing open-records requests with departments. More than a dozen additional details are being collected about officers in each shooting.
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.
The FBI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention log fatal shootings by police, but officials acknowledge that their data is incomplete. In 2015, The Post documented more than two times more fatal shootings by police than had been recorded by the FBI. Last year, the FBI announced plans to overhaul how it tracks fatal police encounters.
The Post’s database is updated regularly as fatal shootings are reported and as facts emerge about individual cases.