LOS ANGELES (AP) — The use of deadly force by the Los Angeles Police Department and the number of suspects killed in violent encounters with officers dropped in 2018, a report has found.
Even with the reductions, the LAPD led the nation in fatal police shootings last year, with 14, according to the report cited by the Los Angeles Times .
The department report presented to the Police Commission on Tuesday found officers fired their weapons 33 times in 2018 — compared with 44 shootings the previous year. That’s a 25% decrease.
It’s the second-fewest incidences of police shootings in a single year since 1989, the report said.
Of the 33 shootings, 24 people were hit by gunfire. The 14 people who died represented a slight drop from 17 the previous year. Fatal shootings have fallen each year since officers killed 21 people in 2015, the department said.
Nearly 90% of those shot by police last year were armed with a firearm or other weapon.
Police Chief Michel Moore credited the reduction to new policies, additional training and body cameras worn by patrol officers. The department is working to be more transparent by releasing videos of shootings within 45 days of incidents, Moore said.
The Police Commission, the civilian panel that oversees the police department, adopted policy changes in recent years requiring officers whenever possible to de-escalate situations before resorting to bullets, the newspaper said. That can mean keeping a distance and taking more time to let encounters evolve by talking to people or requesting more resources.
The commission has reviewed an executive summary and plans to evaluate the entire report and address additional questions to Moore next week.
Members of the panel praised the reductions, but they said the LAPD has room to improve.