We Dug Into 6 Years Of Records To Learn More About Colorado Police Shootings. Now You Can Too

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Westminster Police Sgt. Alex Johnstone speaks to a man who asked to be taken to detox, Jan. 30, 2020.

After the lethal use of force by Colorado Springs Police resulted in the death of 19-year-old De’Von Bailey back in August, there were several general questions around these kinds of shootings that we were curious about.

Surprisingly, the answers were few and the documents you need to start to find them are a challenge to locate.

CPR News used investigative reports, letters issued by district attorneys, autopsy reports, interviews and contemporary news accounts to identify and piece together details of 309 shootings by police, sheriff’s deputies, Colorado State Patrol troopers, ICE and other federal agents and officers from the Colorado Department of Corrections.

The initial findings of this trove of information are stark — and sometimes a surprise, even to law enforcement. A few items stuck out – the overwhelming number of people with meth in their systems when they died, how the numbers climbed every year, how some police departments – Pueblo, Westminster in particular – have higher rates of shootings compared to other cities and departments.

This searchable database allows you to find officer-involved shootings by agency or location, and by whether the suspect was killed. As our investigation unfolds, we’ll present the database with a new way of looking at the data we found in each story.

CPR’s Ben Markus, Allison Sherry and Jim Hill contributed to this report.