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Report: Increase in Shootings of Unarmed Suspects
LOS ANGELES - In most shootings in which Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies fired at suspects who appeared to be holding or reaching for a weapon, the suspect turned out to be unarmed, according to a report released Thursday.
The report by the Police Assessment Resource Center analyzed six years of shooting data, including from so-called "state-of-mind" incidents where a deputy opened fire after seeing a suspect clasp an object or reach for his waist area.
In 61 percent of the 53 cases reported, the suspect turned out to be unarmed; in most cases, it turned out the suspect was holding something like a cellphone or sunglasses, the report found.
According to the report, the number of state-of-mind shootings increased from nine in 2009 to 15 in 2010. In 96 percent of similar cases since 2005, the suspect who deputies shot at was black or Latino.
The sheriff's department said the figure was not surprising because deputies patrol areas in south and east Los Angeles County that are home to a plethora of black and Latino gangs.
The report's author, Merrick Bobb, noted that the sheriff's jurisdiction spanned far more than just gang turf but he stressed it would be wrong to infer deputies harbor intentional bias.
Instead, he called into question the effectiveness of deputy training, noting that in almost a third of shootings, deputies had received no relevant training in the past two years.
"Knowing that black and Latino men are more likely to be shot or shot
at ... the sheriff's department should be doing a better job to reduce as far as possible mistaken shootings," Bobb said in his report.
Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said the department had not had time to fully digest the report, but it took issue with some of the report's methodology, including that it only drew on a small amount of data.
Whitmore noted that while state-of-mind shootings have increased slightly, deputies have also dramatically increased the numbers of arrests they make.
Bobb carries out audits of the sheriff's department twice a year under a contract he has held with county officials since 1992.
Re: Report: Increase in Shootings of Unarmed Suspects
If drugs were legal i wouldn't hate cops as much as i do.
They are still power trippin fucktard meatheads but i would have less of a problem with them if they stuck to catchin robbers and rapists instead of going after a dude in his house smoking a blunt.
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