Could Maricopa County record most officer-involved shootings since 2013?

Jun 27, 2018, 4:45 AM | Updated: 8:29 am
(Pixabay photo)...
(Pixabay photo)
(Pixabay photo)

PHOENIX — Maricopa County is on track to record its highest number of officer-involved shootings since 2013.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said during a press conference Tuesday that the number of shootings involving officers in the county had reached 47 as of June 19.

Twenty-four of those shootings ended in the death of a suspect.

County records dating to 2012 show that the only year with a higher number of officer-involved shootings was 2013, when 59 were recorded.

Montgomery said 19 of the individuals involved in the shootings this year were Hispanic. Eighteen were white, seven African-American, two Native-American and one unknown.

In all of the cases, either the suspects were armed or officers believed they were armed.

There already has been an increase in officer-involved shootings in Phoenix this year compared to last.

There have been at least 27 officer-involved shootings in Phoenix this year, surpassing the total of 21 from 2017.

Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams requested a study on this spike in an effort to help protect officers and the community.

“As police chief, it’s my job to reach out to entities who understand data sets, who understand community interactions, who understand officer interactions to come up with the magic question: Why?” Williams told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona Morning News last week.

A number of use of force incidents in Mesa have also raised concerns: Seven officers were put on paid leave after multiple videos surfaced of alleged police brutality during arrests.

Mesa Police Chief Ramon Batista said during a press conference on June 8, the day after the first video became public, that he was “deeply disappointed” by his officers’ actions and hired a former prosecutor to review two of the confrontations.

“I will be relentless in my pursuit of organizational excellence … I promise you I will fix this,” Batista said.

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Could Maricopa County record most officer-involved shootings since 2013?