Sunday, August 28, 2016

Six Years of Chicago Police Shootings

Chicago Tribune:

Every five days, on average, a Chicago police officer fired a gun at someone.
In 435 shootings over a recent six-year span, officers killed 92 people and wounded 170 others.
While a few of those incidents captured widespread attention, they occurred with such brutal regularity — and with scant information provided by police — that most have escaped public scrutiny.
Now, after months of struggles with Chicago police to get information through the Freedom of Information Act, the Chicago Tribune has compiled an unprecedented database of details of every time police fired a weapon from 2010 through 2015.
Analysis of that data revealed startling patterns about the officers who fired and the people they shot at.
Among the findings:
•At least 2,623 bullets were fired by police in 435 shootings. In 235 of those incidents, officers struck at least one person; in another 200 shootings, officers missed entirely.
•About four out of every five people shot by police were African-American males.
•About half of the officers involved in shootings were African-American or Hispanic.
•The officers who fired weren't rookies but, on average, had almost a decade of experience.
•Of the 520 officers who fired their weapons, more than 60 of them did so in more than one incident.
•The number of shootings by police — hits and misses — declined over the six years, from more than 100 in 2011 to 44 in 2015.
For years, examining the full scale of the problem in Chicago was impossible because the city refused to release most details about police-involved shootings.
That is quite a few shots fired.And quite a few misses.


  1. One of the biggest changes (for the better, imho) in the wake of the LaQuan McDonald cover-up is that the FOP has curtailed their practice of putting some Wilford Brimley looking guy in front of the news cameras to tell us what "really" happened. Previously, after most police-involved shootings, an older guy in a trench coat would rush to the scene to be interviewed by the news crews and tell us how the 15 year-old "violent man" had pulled a gun and was just about to smoke one of Chicago's finest when the civil servant, there to serve and protect the public, had no choice but to take the only reasonable action - the action he has been trained to take - in order to protect the public and those bravely serving the public. It was made to feel very official and, of course, factual.

    Then the viewers at home would nod their heads, tsk-tsk-tsk-tsk, and think, I'm glad they dealt with that in such a brave fashion and administered justice.

    The only thing was, we were being fed lies as it was a ploy to frame the story from the very beginning. Everyone can go home now, nothing to see here.

    Check out the contrast now in the Christmas Break killing of a college student Quintonio LeGrier (and his downstairs neighbor bystander Betty Jones) by a CPO.

    Without the FOP out in front and in light of the McDonald blowback, the story came out and was framed very differently. Now the officer who fired the shots is going through the process of suing the deceased's family in order to get his side of the story out in the press.

    It's a complete mess. Tragic all around. It needs to be addressed from multiple angles.

  2. Very informative and interesting comment. Thanks. I think you are right that police spokesmen shaped the direction of the investigation and helped cover up police error or misconduct.