Phoenix second in nation for 2015 police killings
PHOENIX — Six people in Phoenix, one of the largest cities in the nation, have died at the hands of law enforcement agencies in 2015.
According to a report by The Guardian, Phoenix is tied with Houston for having the second highest number of people killed by officials in a city this year. Los Angeles has the most with 9.
Four of the six incidents involved Phoenix police officers while the other two cases were handled by a U.S. Marshals Service Task Force.
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office reports in the last five years, 80 to 90 percent of suspects shot by officers were armed and the majority were also either on drugs or had gang affiliations.
“We look at every officer involved shooting to determine whether or not force was lawfully applied,” MCAO spokesperson Jerry Cobb said.
According to Cobb, MCAO investigators rarely find that officers unjustifiably shot or killed suspects.
“In the overwhelming majority of cases we find officers in Phoenix are using force consistent with Arizona statute and the use of lethal force has been justifiably applied based on the review of cases we have looked at,” Cobb said.
The Phoenix Police Department reports an estimated 20 percent drop in officer involved shootings in 2015 over the same time period last year.
Based on historical data analysis, entering June, Phoenix police are pacing toward a record low number of officer involved shootings for a year.