Reports & Computer Skills
This story by the Washington Post was about a 14-year-old boy who was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer after he was accused of stealing a bike. The incident brought a lot of uproar to the community. The police were not open about what exactly happened. They did, however, pay for the boy’s funeral, which caused an even greater amount of turmoil. Officials said their hands were tied by federal grand jury secrecy rules that ordinarily do not apply to local police shooting cases.
The Washington Post investigated the police records of the shooting and found many missteps by the police that had not surfaced before. For example the officers involved in the shooting didn't identify themselves as police officers, didn't attend to the wounded suspect and fled the scene.
Also, the officers said that the boy fired first, causing them to fire back at him, which lead to his death. However, records said no gun was found.
The actual events of this crime may have never come forward if it weren’t for the journalists who investigated the records. They had to be suspicious and look deep to find what really occurred that evening.
This article includes an interactive timeline of the boy’s shooting. It goes through the steps in which the incident took place. By clicking on parts of the timeline, additional information comes up. This is a great visual tool for readers to gather more information about exactly how the shooting took place.