A new report commissioned by the NYPD says in 2011, police officers shot and killed nine people and injured another 19. The report concludes the statistics demonstrate department "restraint is in the norm."
The annual "Firearms Discharge Report" summarized:
In 2011, the number of firearms discharge incidents involving members of the New York City Police Department remained unchanged from the previous year: 92 total incidents. As was true last year, this is the smallest number of firearms discharges since the recording of police shootings in the City began. While it must be acknowledged that the most serious category of discharges—shootings involving adversarial conflict with a subject—increased by 9 percent over last year’s record low, it is also true that experiencing 36 adversarial-conflict incidents during a year makes for a remarkably infrequent rate.
While the report seem to tout an overall no-problem-here attitude, The New York Times notes it fails to specifically mention 57-year-old Denise Gay, the Crown Heights bystander who was fatally shot when police opened fire at Leroy Webster during the city's West Indian Day Parade.
Although tests have proven Gay was not shot by Webster's bullets, police have said there is insubstantial evidence to prove it was a cop's bullet that killed her.
The new firearms report, without ever identifying Gay, says forensics could not "determine definitively whose round caused her death." During the fatal shootout, police fired a total of 73 shots.
(By comparison, German police used only 85 bullets in all of 2011. To reiterate, that's the entire country over the course of a whole year.)
The report comes after several recent incidents in which some believe cops have overreacted with their use of guns. In August the NYPD shot and killed a knife-wielding man in Times Square, less than two weeks before Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced that all nine bystanders in the Empire State Building shooting were hit with police bullets.
Most recently, an NYPD detective named in past civil rights lawsuits shot and killed an unarmed National Guardsman during a traffic stop in Queens.