American University graduate journalism student Zane Anthony was on the front lines of a national investigation that documented more than twice the number of deadly shootings by police than were recorded on average annually by the FBI and found, for the third year in a row, that police nationwide shot and killed nearly 1,000 people. The project database and research break down the statistics of these shootings of unarmed people, from race to age to mental wellness of the victim.
The investigation was a collaboration between the Investigative Reporting Workshop, based at AU School of Communication, and The Washington Post. Anthony is an IRW fellow. IRW senior editor and Post investigative reporter John Sullivan took over the shooting story 2 years ago, after the paper won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting as well as the 2015 George Polk Award for National Reporting for the database and a series of stories on fatal police force. The staff who won the Pulitzer included an AU graduate student, Derek Hawkins, who was part of SOC's practicum course, led by Sullivan, who started the reporting program five years ago with Charles Lewis, in which students are embedded on the Post's investigative unit. Hawkins now works at the Washington Post.