Everywhere, there are more cops shooting more people

In July 2012, with more than half the year over, police departments around the nation suddenly realized that their cops were shooting people at alarming and in many cases unprecedented rates. Here is a collection of articles about police departments trying to make sense of the carnage they have inflicted in the year 2012 in places as diverse as Houston, St. Louis, Anchorage, Witchita, and Columbus. Remember, all these articles are solely from July 2012.

  • Shootings by Houston PD on the rise (7/30/12): “Shootings of suspects by Houston police officers have almost doubled in the first seven months of 2012 compared with the same period last year.”
  • Officer involved shootings on the rise in Columbus, Ohio (7/16/12): “Columbus officers have been involved in 12 shootings this year, 4 of which were fatal.  The number is already more than half of the 20 officer involved shooting for the entire year of 2011.  The eight police-shooting fatalities in 2011were the most in the city in the last 15 years.”
  • Report challenges LAPD’s reasoning for rise in officer involved shootings(7/2/12): “The Los Angeles Times said the report challenges the way the LAPD tallies the number of officer-involved shootings and assaults on officers. It found instances where the department inflated the number of attacks on officers while under counting the number of officers who fired shots. For example, when a suspect shot at police from inside a house in April 2011, the department counted 16 assaults on officers and one officer-involved shooting even though 15 officers fired their weapons.”
  • Anaheim police chief concerned about uptick in police shootings(7/23/12): “Anaheim Police Chief John Welter said his department was “very concerned” about an uptick in fatal officer-involved shootings and the outrage that has surrounded the two most recent weekend incidents. The latest incident — which resulted in the death of a man Sunday night — marked the city’s fifth fatal police shooting this year, said Anaheim Police Sgt. Bob Dunn. Last year, there were four officer-involved shootings, compared with six so far this year, he said.”
  • Witchita police chief alarmed at rise in instances of cops shooting people (7/11/12):Wichita’s Police Chief, Norman Williams, says he’s concerned by what he sees as a rise in the number of officer-involved shootings. Chief Williams has been a part of the Wichita Police for nearly four decades. Last night’s shooting continues what the chief calls a ‘disturbing trend’ – a trend he say is avoidable. “I can’t think of a time in my thirty-six and a half years with the Wichita Police Department that we’ve had this many officer-involved shootings,” says Chief Williams.”
  • Recent deadly officer involved shootings in Anchorage, Alaska spark concern(7/6/12)
  • St. Louis Police on pace to shatter number of officer involved shootings in one year (7/26/12): “The city of St. Louis is on pace to shatter the recent record for number of shootings involving police officers in a year.  In the past decade, there have never been more than fifteen such incidents in a calendar year.  There have already been thirteen suspects shot by police this year, with five months still to go.”


  1. John Reimann · · Reply

    I have heard some speculation that members of some of the white supremacist groups have been joining the police departments. Does anybody have any information on this one way or another?

  2. Tom Cleary · · Reply

    I also wonder whether alot of this stems from the “stand your ground” mentality first promoted and then legislated on in Florida. If so, it’s a thinly-veiled excuse for hate and prejudice.

  3. Luther Blee · · Reply

    The American government refuses to provide public estimates of how many people it kills at home and abroad. It only gives accounts of some deaths (like Bin Laden) if it serves PR purposes. The only estimates of how many Iraqi and Afghans were killed in American invasions come from NGOs and volunteers on the internet. “We don’t do bodycounts” said an American general – so we have to do their job for them!

    Despite being ‘civil’ institutions police dept/FBI/DoJ are often as bad as the US military in hiding the numbers of people they kill. Strange how such ‘big men’ are cowards about simply being truthful by producing accurate statistics. You are doing their job for them.

    If you could do this for 6 months or a year you’d produce valuable sociological estimates – but it is a big task. Look how many killed in the last two month alone!

    Good Luck!

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