Washington Post Police Shootings Dataset: Columns and Insights

The Washington Post, where they are compiling a database of every fatal shooting in the United States by a police officer in the line of duty since 2015. The database contains records of every person shot by an on-duty police officer since January 1, 2015, as well as the agencies involved in each event. It is regularly updated as fatal shootings are reported and as facts emerge about individual cases.

The Post provides a comprehensive and accurate record of police shootings in the United States. It aims to fill the gap in data reported to the FBI on fatal police shootings, which has been found to be undercounted by more than half.

The dataset in the repository contains several columns that provide valuable information about each fatal police shooting incident. Here are some of the key columns and what can be inferred from them:

  1. “id”: This column represents a unique identifier for each shooting incident. It allows for easy referencing and tracking of individual cases.
  2. “name”: This column contains the name of the person who was fatally shot by a police officer. It provides insight into the identities of the victims involved in these incidents.
  3. “date”: The “date” column indicates the date on which the shooting incident occurred. By analyzing this column, patterns and trends in police shootings over time can be identified.
  4. “manner_of_death”: This column provides information on the manner in which the person died, whether it was due to a gunshot wound or other causes. It helps in understanding the circumstances surrounding each shooting incident.
  5. “armed”: The “armed” column describes the weapons or objects the person had at the time of the shooting. It provides insights into whether the person was armed, unarmed, or had a potentially dangerous object.
  6. “age”: This column represents the age of the person who was shot. Analyzing this column can reveal patterns related to age groups affected by police shootings.
  7. “gender”: The “gender” column indicates the gender of the person involved in the shooting incident. It helps in understanding whether there are any gender-based disparities in police shootings.
  8. “race”: This column provides information about the race or ethnicity of the person who was shot. It allows for the examination of racial disparities in police shootings.
  9. “city”: The “city” column specifies the city or location where the shooting incident took place. It helps in identifying geographical patterns in police shootings.
  10. “state”: This column represents the state in which the shooting incident occurred. Analyzing this column allows for comparisons between different states and their respective rates of police shootings.

Insights from analyzing the data

By analyzing the data in these columns, researchers can gain insights into:

  • Demographics: Who is most at risk of being shot by police based on age, gender, race
  • Circumstances: Whether the person was armed and what threats they posed
  • Geographic patterns: locations with higher or lower rates of police shootings
  • Trends over time: Changes in police shootings year over year

This data can help identify potential biases, disparities, and problem areas to improve law enforcement policies and training.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *