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Maricopa County recorded 44 officer-involved shootings in 2017

(Flickr/Gage Skidmore)
LISTEN: 44 officer involved shootings in 2017

PHOENIX — The main prosecutor for Maricopa County said there were more than 40 officer-involved shootings throughout the county last year.

In a news conference on Wednesday, Attorney Bill Montgomery said there were a total of 44 call-outs for officer-involved shootings for 2017.

Of those call-outs, 40 of the subjects were male, four were female, Montgomery said.

Since 2011, Montgomery describes 2017 as an average year as far as officer-involved shootings go. He said 2013 had the highest number — with 59 shootings — and 2015 had the lowest, with 40.

Digging into the statistics, Montgomery also broke down the numbers by a racial component. Twenty of the subjects in the call-outs were white, six were black, 15 were Hispanic and three were of unknown ethnicity.

It is the duty of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office to conduct the investigations into officer-involved shootings, regardless of the department involved, he added.

The office is currently reviewing those cases and have looked at 19 so far. Of those 19 cases, Montgomery said 17 involved a weapon of some kind, ranging from a gun, to a knife, to a crowbar.

“Three of the 19 so far reviewed we were able to determine, [the subject] was having some kind of a mental episode, or subsequent to the shooting or incident we learned the person may have had a diagnosis of mental illness,” he said.

So far none of those shootings reviewed involved gangs. One resulted in a fatality.

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