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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    PARADISE (San Diego)

    Victims of Area Police Shootings Mostly Whites, Latinos, Study Finds

    Victims of Area Police Shootings Mostly Whites, Latinos, Study Finds

    FEBRUARY 19, 2015

    Two-thirds of people shot by law enforcement officers in San Diego County over a 20-year period were under the influence of illegal drugs, according to a comprehensive study of officer-involved shootings released Thursday.

    Breakdown of race of victims and officers. Graphic via District Attorney’s Office

    Over the same period, 37 percent of shooting victims were white, 36 percent were Latino/Hispanic and 19 percent were African-American, the study showed.The report — commissioned and prepared by the District Attorney’s Office — looked at officer-involved shootings from 1993 through 2012, in what’s thought to be most comprehensive study on the subject in San Diego County history.

    District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said the results of the study can be used by officers to understand where and when an OIS is likely to occur.

    Of the 367 shootings that occurred over the 20-year period, most were on Saturday night, in a street or an alley, and followed traffic stops. Fifty-seven percent of the shootings were fatal, according to the county’s top prosecutor.

    Nineteen percent of the officer-involved shootings were “suicide-by-cop,” Dumanis said.

    Not surprisingly, the agencies with the largest number of peace officers and the largest areas to patrol — the San Diego Police Department and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department — had the most officer-involved shootings over the 20-year period.

    “No police officer wants to be involved in a shooting, but when it does happen, the impacts to everyone involved last forever,” said San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman. “This study is valuable in providing law enforcement an opportunity to help analyze the intricate dynamics in an officer-involved shooting.”

    The report shows the variety of situations peace officers are faced with every day.

    “San Diego sheriff’s deputies are frequently faced with split-second decisions under the most difficult of circumstances and these decisions have a lifetime of consequence for everyone involved,” said Sheriff Bill Gore.

    “This study confirms the two most dangerous calls any law enforcement officer must respond to, and compounding this further are the illegal drugs almost always involved,” he said. “We welcome this study as an opportunity to better understand and further evaluate the complex factors associated with officer-involved shootings, always with the goal of using this information to keep our communities and law enforcement officers safer.”

    The county averaged 18 officer-involved shootings per year between 1993 and 2012.


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  2. #2
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    PARADISE (San Diego)
    A look at 20 years of shootings by cops

    Study shows most of those shot were Hispanic men, followed by white men

    By Pauline Repard1:56 P.M.FEB. 19, 2015Updated7:18 P.M.
    SAN DIEGO — A study released Thursday provides an unprecedented snapshot of officer-involved shootings in San Diego County over the past 20 years, an analysis that law enforcement hopes will help improve training and boost public awareness.

    Of the 367 people shot, 81 percent had mental issues or drugs — usually methamphetamine — in their system, 44 percent were on probation or parole, and 56 percent were 18- to 32-years-old, according to the report compiled by the District Attorney’s Office.

    Hispanic men were shot more than men of any other race, followed closely by white men, the report showed.

    The report comes at a time when officer-involved shootings have been in the news, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said at a Thursday news conference, where she was joined by the sheriff and a half-dozen local police chiefs.

    “The issue of race obviously is a big part of the national conversation,” Dumanis said. “We hope the statistics will inform and guide the public discussion on race and how it pertains to law enforcement.”

    Her office, which reviews shootings to determine whether the officer was legally justified or should face criminal charges, decided about a year ago to do the 20-year review. The county does not review shootings by federal agents.

    More than half of the 358 shooting incidents from 1993 to 2012 resulted in death. A total of 606 officers were involved in the shootings, as some cases involved more than one officer opening fire.

    During that period, county prosecutors filed charges against two officers involved in separate nonfatal shootings: Christopher Chaney in 1995 and Frank White in 2009. Juries found both men not guilty.

    Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, policy director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s local office, said she was struck as much by the fact the study was done as by what it showed.

    “This level of transparency is sadly unusual,” Dooley-Sammuli said in a phone interview. “It’s critical information that helps the community understand what’s happening, in detail. … We need these reports to be required, not optional. We’ve learned that national data is woefully inadequate. California reporting is, similarly, entirely inadequate.”

    Race, as well as the lack of national data on police use of force, has been a major national issue since a white officer in Ferguson, Mo., fatally shot an unarmed black man last year and was not indicted.

    In San Diego County, 19 percent of the people shot by officers were black, a much higher percentage than the region’s population of blacks, which is 4.8 percent, according to 2012 census data.

    The study also sorted 335 cases in the county where the race of the officer and the subject was known. In 41 percent of those cases, the officer was white and the person shot was non-white. In 26 percent of the cases, both the officer and subject were white.

    Dumanis cautioned that drawing conclusions from the race data is difficult because county racial demographics changed during the period of the study, as have the racial backgrounds of officers and the communities where shootings occurred.

    Still, the findings support a consistent pattern “and it is not surprising,” Andre Branch, president of the San Diego chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said in an interview.

    Pedro Rios, director of the American Friends Service Committee, said there has been tension between the Latino community and law enforcement over the years. He recalled a period in 2005 when three Hispanic men were fatally shot by sheriff’s deputies in Vista over five days.

    “Community members were extremely upset,” Rios said. “They felt law enforcement agencies were not tuned in to the needs of the Latino community.”

    Rios acknowledged relationships have improved to a degree, but worried much of that improvement has stemmed from immigrant-friendly legislation that has forced changes at the department level. The departments that have established better relationships with the Latino community have done so through better communication, he said.

    Sheriff Bill Gore said the study highlights dangers law enforcement officers face and the fact that they often have only a split-second to decide whether to fire at someone.

    “At the end of the day we have to constantly ask ourselves how we can do a better job,” Gore said Thursday.

    Also notable from the study:

    • 48 percent of all shootings involved San Diego police, with the Sheriff’s Department involved in 20 percent.
    • 19 percent were considered suicide-by-cop.
    • No less-lethal measures, such as a Taser, were tried first in 80 percent of the cases.
    • Nearly half of the shootings happened immediately upon the officer arriving on scene.
    • Most shootings occurred during traffic stops, followed by domestic violence incidents.
    • An officer was killed or injured in 10 percent of the incidents, while bystanders were shot in 5 percent of the cases.

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