In 2011, New York City police officers shot and killed 9 suspects and injured 19 more, the second-lowest annual toll in recent city history, according to a Police Department report.
The report concluded that the experiences of the 62 officers last year who fired at suspects demonstrated that “restraint is the norm” in police shootings. In those 36 separate encounters, more than two-thirds of the officers involved fired five or fewer shots. And more than a quarter fired only a single shot, the report stated. In none of the episodes did the police officers reload.
The 82-page document, known as the annual firearms discharge report, is a compendium of statistics, analyzing everything from shooting stance (60 percent of officers reported firing while standing, while 31 percent of the officers said they fired while moving or struggling with a suspect) to the distances between officers and their targets (53 percent of officers reported that their adversary was less than 15 feet away).
At times, the details border on trivial: the highest number of police-involved shootings, at six apiece, occurred on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The randomness, the report concluded, only “illustrates what police officers have long known: there is no predicting when these incidents will occur, only that they will.”
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