Major Media Outlets Can’t Stop Describing Police Violence As ‘Officer-Involved’ Incidents

Major Media Outlets Can’t Stop Describing Police Violence As ‘Officer-Involved’ Incidents

I collaborated with Brandon Soderberg and The Garrison Project on a deep dive into the frequency with which select American newspapers used the phrase “officer-involved shooting” over the last 20 years.

“Officer-involved shooting” is archetypal passive-voice “copaganda”, a term literally devised by the Los Angeles Police Department as a more friendly way for the media to say the police shot somebody. We tracked its use, as well as more active phrases like “police shot” and “police killed” as a way to learn both if and how Amercan newspapers cover police violence.