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Tampa Bay Times investigation: Why Cops Shoot

Pasco County deputies faced a suspected bank robber during a standoff in 2010.
Pasco County deputies faced a suspected bank robber during a standoff in 2010.
Published Apr. 5, 2017

The Tampa Bay Times asked all of Florida's nearly 400 law enforcement agencies for reports generated when an officer fired a gun and someone was injured or killed from Jan. 1, 2009 to Dec. 31, 2014. Almost 160 agencies said they had at least one police shooting. The others, mostly small agencies with few officers, said they did not have any police shootings during those six years.

There is no standard reporting system for police shootings, so the documents the Times received varied from a single sheet to hundreds of pages. The Times, which spent more than $4,000 on just the police reports, supplemented the documents with Florida Department of Law Enforcement reports, subsequent newspaper and television news coverage, press releases, criminal and civil court documents and fresh interviews with police, witnesses and families of those shot.

The Times used the more than 50,000 pages of records to create the most comprehensive database of police shootings in Florida. It includes demographic information for the people who were shot or killed and the officers involved in the shootings, along with situational information about each case.

Here's the story. Here's the searchable database of the police shootings. Here's "If you're black" -- an interactive graphic.

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