An increase in the number of attacks on Los Angeles police officers is not related to an increase in officer-involved shootings, despite the chief of police’s comments to the contrary, according to a report from the Police Commission’s inspector general.
In 2011, there were 193 violent attacks on Los Angeles police officers – a 22 percent increase over the previous year, according to Inspector General Alexander Bustamante’s report. However, those attacks occurred during 106 incidents, which represents just a 6 percent increase from 2010.
When police officers shoot at a suspect, the Los Angeles Police Department counts that as one officer-involved shooting, regardless of the number of officers at the scene. However, when a suspect attacks, LAPD calculates that on a per-victim rate.
“As such, there does not appear to be a clear correlation between the data regarding OIS shooting incidents and the data regarding incidents involving assaults on officers,” Bustamante wrote in his report.
There was no immediate comment from the Los Angeles Police Protective League, which represents the rank-and-file members of LAPD.
The LAPD’s use of force declined from 2007 to 2009, and spiked in 2011. Officers shot at and hit 47 suspects in 2011, compared to 26 in 2010.
At the same time, the incidents of violence toward officers have declined since 2007. That year, there were 168 times when suspects attacked Los Angeles cops. In the following years:
- 2008: 116 incidents
- 2009: 132 incidents
- 2010: 100 incidents
- 2011: 106 incidents
In a statement to the Los Angeles Times, police Chief Charlie Beck maintained, “there is a relationship between some types of attacks on police officers and officer involved shootings.”
Moving forward, LAPD will standardize statistics on the categorical use of force. The findings will be presented to the Police Commission tomorrow.