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Howard University Alum is Part of Pulitzer Prize Winning Team for National Reporting


Keith Alexander

Howard University alum and adjunct professor, Keith Alexander, is part of a Washington Post team of reporters that was awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for their work documenting fatal police shootings of civilians across the nation. The Pulitzer board singled out the the Washington Post “for its revelatory initiative in creating and using a national database to illustrate how often and why the police shoot to kill and who the victims are most likely to be.”

The newspaper sought to determine if there was a pattern in the fatal shootings of civilians by police officers after learning that no federal or private agency tracked such information. The data was compiled using real time news reports as well as other public sources. Among the Post’s findings: there were 990 fatal police shootings in 2015 and about 25 percent of those shot had a history of mental illness.

The Post reporters produced more than a dozen stories using the data, some of them dispelling myths and defying conventional wisdom about police-citizen interaction. For example, most of those killed by police were white men, but African Americans were at much greater risk of being shot after routine traffic stops than other Americans. On Monday, Alexander tweeted, “Honored to be a winner of the 2016 #PulitzerPrize for #TheWashingtonPost year-long investigation on fatal police shootings in 2015.”

Alexander is an adjunct professor of journalism in the Howard University School of Communications. He is also a graduate of the School of Communications.


About Howard University

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University has produced three Rhodes Scholars, nine Truman Scholars, two Marshall Scholars, over 60 Fulbright Scholars and 22 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at www.howard.edu