Clearing the Air

D.C. Witness recently met with the Metropolitan Police Department.

The public information office was concerned that our homicide count was causing confusion because it differs from the number they generated.

As of Oct. 4, D.C. Witness’s number of homicides for the year is 136. The police’s count is 131.

The last thing D.C. Witness wants to do is create confusion. We are committed to transparency and so wanted to explain the discrepancy.

D.C. Witness’s homicide count differs from the Metropolitan Police Department’s calculation because D.C. Witness records all violent deaths, including police-involved shootings and vehicular homicides.

MPD only records deaths that are deemed unlawful, excluding several traffic fatalities regardless of whether or not a person was charged and convicted, and police-involved shootings.

D.C. Witness’s goal is to offer the most data possible to provide the greatest transparency to the DC justice system without being partisan or advocating for any policy or perspective.

To avoid confusion with our homicide number and the MPD’s calculation, we will provide an on-going tally of both numbers so readers have all the information possible.