Research on police violence

When examining data around police violence outcomes of police killings, we show that Blacks are approximately three times more likely to be killed in comparison to their White counterparts (Mapping Police Violence, 2022). Additionally, it is worth noting that 97% of the killings in our database occurred while a police officer was acting in a law enforcement capacity. This dataset does not include killings by vigilantes or security guards who are not off-duty police officers.

Recent studies employing Mapping Police Violence data have found that the threshold for police killings of Whites are much higher than those of Blacks (DeAngelis, 2021). Similarly, other research using Fatal Encounters data finds that Blacks are two times more likely to be killed by police “...even when there are no other obvious circumstances during the encounter that would make the use of deadly force reasonable” (Fagan and Campbell, 2020).

We encourage continued scholarship using the Mapping Police Violence, Fatal Encounters, and the Washington Post Police Shooting databases. For independent research, we encourage a combination of data sources to allow for validation and welcome any feedback, criticism, or issues that you come across with the data. Feel free to email us with any questions.

Studies employing Mapping Police Violence data

Please email us if you would like to add a study that cites Mapping Police Violence data. We're working on compiling and making them easily accessible to the public.

Examples of studies citing or employing MPV data can include the following:

Sage Journals


The threshold for being perceived as dangerous, and thereby falling victim to lethal police force, appears to be higher for White civilians relative to their Black or Hispanic peers.



Protest against police brutality reduces officer-involved fatalities for African Americans and Latinos (but not for Whites)