The Reuters series ‘Shock Tactics’ has been named the winner of the 2018 Edgar A. Poe Memorial Award, presented by the White House Correspondents’ Association. The award honors news reporting on subjects of significant importance to the American people. ‘Shock Tactics,’ by Jason Szep, Peter Eisler, Tim Reid, Lisa Girion, Grant Smith, Linda So, M.B. Pell and Charles Levinson, is an unprecedented examination of the toll of deaths and litigation linked to Tasers, the most widely used “less lethal” weapon in the arsenal of U.S. police.
Reuters 18-month examination identified more than 1,000 incidents across the U.S. in which people died after being stunned by police. The figure was 40% higher than any previous estimates, even as Reuters used much stricter methodology for attributing harm to Tasers. The reporting also identified and analyzed more than 440 wrongful death lawsuits filed against police involving such fatalities, showing how the public is paying the bill as the manufacturer protects itself from liability with an expanding list of product warnings.
Judges called the series “stunning, new and disturbing. The series involved impressive reporting from multiple angles, revealing the risks of a weapon that is not supposed to be lethal, but often is. The project was considered in 2015 during the summer of protests over police shootings, when the nation’s focus turned to safer policing. Journalists learned Tasers, mostly used against the unarmed, were not the answer, identifying more than 1,000 incidents in which people died after being stunned by police. The project, relevant to every community, stood out in a sea of powerful contenders.”
‘Shock Tactics’ will be honored at White House Correspondents’ Dinner on April 28th.
You can read ‘Shock Tactics’ series here .
[Reuters Press Blog]
Heather dot Carpener at thomsonreuters dot com