Mental illness was a known factor in almost a quarter of cases in which people were fatally shot by police so far this year, according to The Washington Post’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Fatal Force project.
As controversy continues to swirl around the issue of police violence in the United States, the media continues to be our main source of data about the scope of the problem.
The Washington Post, which tracks fatal shootings by police as part of its Fatal Force project, reports that there have already been 20 more fatal shootings this year compared to the same period of 2015.
In April, the Post’s Fatal Force project won a Pulitzer Prize, journalism’s most prestigious award, in the national reporting category. The project originated when Post staff realized that no government agency tracks police violence, reported Paul Farhi:
“After covering several high-profile incidents involving the killings of civilians by police officers in 2014, Washington Post staff writer Wesley Lowery was surprised to discover that there were no official statistics about such fatalities. So Lowery pitched an idea to his editors: The newspaper, he suggested, should collect the information itself and analyze it for patterns in law enforcement.”