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2015 The University of Florida Award for Investigative Data Journalism, Large Newsroom finalist

Stop and Seize

Finalist(s)
Michael Sallah, Robert O'Harrow Jr., Steven Rich

Organization
The Washington Post

Award
The University of Florida Award for Investigative Data Journalism, Large Newsroom

Program
2015

Entry Links
Link 1

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About the Project

In the first study of its kind, The Washington Post obtained and analyzed a Justice Department database containing hundreds of thousands of records of seizures made by the nation’s police, along with 43,000 reports detailing how police spent seizure proceeds. The Post found that police have made nearly 62,000 cash seizures totaling $2.5 billion since 9/11, without warrants or criminal charges. Thousands of people had to fight the government to get their money back. Police used some proceeds to buy luxury cars and military-grade gear. The Post created a searchable database of police spending and made its raw data publicly available.