Police Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday that nearly a third of shootings by LAPD officers this year were in response to a person perceived to be mentally ill, up from about 21% at this point in 2020.
Officers have opened fire 31 times so far in 2021, up from 24 at this point last year, Moore said. The four-year average for this time of year is just over 27 shootings by officers.
Moore told the Los Angeles Police Commission on Tuesday that the two proportions that have increased regarding shootings by LAPD officers are the number of people involved who are perceived to be mentally ill and the number of people who have edged weapons, while the number of involved people who have firearms has decreased.
Out of the 34 police shootings as of this point in 2017, eight involved people with edged weapons, and of the 24 police shootings as of this period in 2020, seven involved a civilian with an edged weapon.
So far this year, 10 of the 31 shootings by LAPD officers involved a person with an edged weapon, Moore said.
Police Commission President William Briggs asked Moore about a policy at a police department in Georgia, in which officers are now instructed to shoot to incapacitate instead of shooting at a person’s center mass.
“Is that something that … could possibly be adopted in this city?” Briggs asked, noting instances of police shooting people armed with edged weapons.
Moore responded that officers “exercise all other options, de-escalation tools, tactics, so that we don’t have to resort to use of deadly force.”
He added that it is “exceedingly difficult” to shoot in the lower extremity during “a time of such chaos, such turmoil and in such a short window.”