August 2013 to August 2014 compared

Back in February, when the RN&R charted out our strategy for this year-long project, we thought we’d have a year’s worth of national data by which we could measure trends and percentages. Unfortunately, since there was no measure by which we could estimate how long it would take to collect this data—particularly using the untried crowdsourcing methods we used to assemble it—we came up short. We have some months in addition to August 2013 and August 2014 that we believe are “complete,” but it seemed most prudent to compare apples to apples.

And while there’s a temptation to assume that because these numbers are written down in a sensible format, and they seem too large to grow, we consider this data inconclusive. For example, the conclusion that officer-involved homicides rose 29.9 percent from one year to the next is premature, and it wouldn’t take many incidents in either direction to change the analysis.

We’ll consider our data inconclusive until the Fatal Encounters project is able to make public records requests of every U.S. law enforcement agency. That’s true because every time we claim a dataset is complete, we’ll find an incident that for one reason or another—never reported to or in the media, facts incorrect, simple human error—hadn’t yet made it to the database.

People will quibble with some of this data. For example, we don’t track deaths after incarceration, but we do track homicides that include off-duty officers and incidents that are ruled suicides, but we try to be consistent in our documentation. Other groups are free to track police involved violence in the way that makes the most sense to them.

To download our data, go to Under File, go to Download as, and then choose your file format.

—D. Brian Burghart

August 2013

Total records: 91


Women: 2

Men: 89


African-American/Black 13

European-American/White: 39

Hispanic/Latino: 8

Middle Eastern: 1

Pacific Islander: 1

Race Unknown: 29

State by state

In August 2013, people were killed by police in 33 states.

AL: 1; AZ: 7; CA: 15; CO: 4; FL: 4; GA: 2; HI: 1; ID: 2; IL: 1; IN: 3; KY: 2; LA: 2; MA: 3; MD: 4; ME: 1; MN: 3; MO: 1; MS: 1; NH: 1; NJ: 1; NM: 2; NV: 1; NY: 4; OH: 3; OK: 2; OR: 3; PA: 2; SC: 1; TN: 3; TX: 6; VA: 2; WA: 2; WI: 1

Cause of death

Gunshot: 79

Taser: 5

Medical emergency: 3

Beating: 2

Vehicle: 2

August 2014

Total records: 123


Women: 9

Men: 114


African-American/Black 30

Asian: 1

European-American/White: 37

Hispanic/Latino: 22

Native American/Alaskan: 1

Race Unknown: 32

State by state

In August 2014, people were killed by police in 35 states.

AL: 1; AR: 1; AZ: 5; CA: 21; CO: 3; FL: 5; GA: 2; HI: 1; IA: 2; IL: 5; KS: 4; LA: 1; MA: 1; MD: 4; ME: 2; MI: 2; MN: 3; MO: 4; MS: 3; NC: 2; NE: 2; NJ: 1; NM: 1; NV: 1; NY: 3; OH: 3; OK: 3; OR: 1; PA: 4; TN: 2; TX: 23; UT: 1; VA: 2; WA: 2; WV: 2;

Cause of death

Gunshot: 101

Vehicle: 11

Taser: 6

Beating: 2

Undisclosed: 2

Suicide: 1