I’m D. Brian Burghart, a journalist who was offended by the government’s lack of statistics on police-involved deaths, so I started the Fatal Encounters website. AMA!
Commuting home from my work at the Reno, Nevada, alt-weekly newspaper, the Reno News & Review, on May 18, 2012, I drove past the aftermath of a police shooting—in this case, that of a man named Jace Herndon. Curious how often a police officer kills someone in the line of duty, I went home, cracked a bottle of wine, and took to the internet. It was that moment that it first began to dawn on me that the government does not track how many people it kills domestically—even though it pretends to.
I decided to track that information because I believed if we could compare outcomes for related situations, training, policies and protocols could be modified so fewer people—cops and those they protect and serve—would die.You’ll be surprised at what I’ve already found.
Hey everybody, thank you all for your questions. I enjoyed this. It made me rethink some of my assumptions and helped clarify some of my ideas. Redditors, rock! You brought a lot of awareness to the issue and a lot of new incidents to the database. Thanks again. D. Brian