Police shootings in Spokane, by the numbers
January 18, 2011 3 Comments
Since August 25th, 2010: 7 police shootings. 5 killed, 2 wounded. And that is just in the past six months!
How does this compare to elsewhere?
In all of 2010 in New York City, 8 people were killed and 16 wounded by police shootings. (This is down from 12 and 20 in 2009 and way down from the early 70’s when, with a smaller population in NYC, nearly 100 people were shot and killed by police and over 200 were wounded – per year. I spotted this reference in the comments to an SR article on the most recent shooting.)
The population of Spokane County is around 463,000. The population of NYC is estimated at about 8.4 million in 2009.
Therefore, the number of people shot by police in Spokane in the past six months is about one-third the annual shootings in a city that is 18 times larger.
- The shootings per capita in Spokane for six months are about 0.000015.
- The shootings per capita in NYC for twelve months are about 0.000003.
- Therefore, police involved shootings per resident in Spokane in the past 6 months are five times greater than in New York City in all of 2010.
I previously published a comparison of Spokane officer involved shootings to Seattle here. Spokane County police shootings are about 2.4 x greater than in the city of Seattle.
No official explanation has been offered as to why Spokane’s rate of officer involved shootings is so much higher than elsewhere. As explained here, there are perhaps a few possibilities:
- It is a statistical cluster. Given another year or two, things will revert to the mean or normal level.
- It is due to issues with the people who live here
- It is due to issues with the police that work here, or their training and experience.
- Or perhaps a combination of all of these.
- Update July 2011: So far this year, the shootings have gone way down. Statistical cluster then?
- Spokane police shooting the 5th fatal since August (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Spokane police shoot, kill man (thenewstribune.com)
- Witness describes fatal Spokane police shooting (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Armed man killed by police in Spokane (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Police kill armed man in Spokane (thenewstribune.com)
- Spokane police shoot, kill man (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Man shot by Spokane police identified (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Police shootings raise notion of inquests (seattletimes.nwsource.com)