Inside The Guardian’s Project To Count Every Person Killed By U.S. Police

Posted: June 1, 2015 in Culture

guardian-countedClick image for interactive map.

Because the U.S. government is so bad at counting how many Americans are killed by police officers each year, a handful of reporters at the Guardian have decided to do it themselves.

The project, aptly named The Counted, is the brainchild of Katharine Viner, the Guardian’s former U.S. chief, who took the reins from Alan Rusbridger last week to become the first woman to run the newspaper in its 194-year history.

Having a team of dedicated journalists has paid off. Swaine, who’s been at the Guardian for about 15 months and before that wrote for the London Daily Telegraph, said his team has identified the names of people on existing lists that aren’t actually dead. They’ve also discovered at least five previously unreported deaths. “The open-source sites hadn’t got them, the police departments hadn’t released them, until we chased them and made records requests, or made a couple of phone calls or a couple of emails, just like reporters always have done,” Swaine told the Daily Dot.

Swaine’s team, which includes Guardian reporter Oliver Laughland and researcher Jamiles Lartey, a recent New York University graduate, is adamant about including all deaths that occur at the hands of police, whether they’re deemed justifiable or not. In some cases, he says, it would be hard argue that some of those killed were “doing good in the last moments of their lives.”

“Some were being violent toward other people, some of them were shooting at police themselves,” said Swaine. “But we just think it’s important to have the information about even those cases to be public, and for us to tell the full story of what happened with them, and let the readers make up their own minds about what is justified.”

Full Story @ [The Guardian]

  1. […] rogues and more like something systemic. Consider the evidence provided by a new Guardian project, The Counted, which this week found that black Americans are twice as likely as white Americans to be unarmed […]


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