The work entitled ‘How the Police Killed Breonna Taylor’ has been awarded the prize of Minorities and Human Rights Award (Digital). The work was published in The New York Times (USA) and part of the team behind the piece shares with us some of what went into creating the piece and the challenges they faced.
Could you briefly explain the idea of the story?
Since no body cameras captured the final minutes of Breonna Taylor’s life, we used crime scene evidence and testimony to reconstruct in 3D and show what really happened the night Breonna was killed in her apartment.
What was the process of working on the graphic? Where did you start?
Breonna Taylor’s story had been covered widely and we wanted to take a different approach to show visually what body cameras would have shown. We started our investigation by analyzing over 1,000 crime scene photos of Breonna Taylor’s apartment and SWAT videos to create a precise 3D model. We then cataloged each bullet hole and trajectory. Next, we modeled the trajectories of the 32 bullets that were shot through Breonna Taylor’s apartment that night. Throughout the process, we relied heavily on crime scene photos, testimony, 911 calls and police interviews to reconstruct our 3D model and visually show the events leading up to Breonna Taylor’s death.
What has been the challenge of this story?
In a lot of cases of police violence, there is either body cam footage or videos captured by witnesses that act as the main evidence for investigations. In this case, recreating the events leading up to Breonna Taylor’s death without any bodycam footage of the raid itself was challenging.
How have you worked this year?
I have worked remotely since last year and even though much has changed, the work process has largely been the same. That being said, I do miss collaborative sketching on projects that would happen organically when you’re in the newsroom.