Local report details 25 years of officer-involved shootings

SAN DIEGO — More than 450 people were shot by law-enforcement officers in San Diego County over a 25-year period, with more than half of them killed as a result, according to an officer-involved shooting report released Thursday by state prosecutors.

The report details county shootings by police between 1993 and 2017, which average out to around 18 such shootings per year.

Notable statistics mentioned in the report include:

  • 92 percent of the subjects shot had a weapon. Of 36 incidents in which the suspect was unarmed, 28 of the subjects “made furtive movements,” while six were shot as a result of accidental discharges by the officer. The other two incidents involved “a violent gang member running at another officer” and “a prison inmate involved in a violent assault on another inmate.”
  • The subjects were mostly Hispanic or white males between the ages of 18 and 35.
  • 79 percent of the subjects were under the influence of drugs or alcohol and/or had mental health issues.
  • A “less-than-lethal” method of subduing the subject was used in 22 percent of the shootings. These methods include using a chemical spray, beanbag gun, baton, taser or K-9.
  • The San Diego Police Department — which serves about 42 percent of the county’s population — was involved in just over half of all shootings, according to the report. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and El Cajon Police Department were next in line.
  • In almost two-thirds of the incidents, only one officer fired his or her weapon.
  • More than one-third of the shootings happened following a vehicle or foot pursuit.

“Reviewing officer-involved shootings and deaths that occur while someone is in the custody of law enforcement is one of my most serious responsibilities,” District Attorney Summer Stephan said. “We are committed to leverage this valuable data to increase safety for the public and peace officers.”

The full report is available at https://www.sdcda.org/office/ois_review_rpt.pdf.

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