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Shootings by Philly Police Increase as Violent Crime Plummets

Shootings by Philly Police Increase as Violent Crime Plummets

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Published by diligentpurpose
Violent crime goes down but police shootings skyrocket. What's wrong with this picture?
Violent crime goes down but police shootings skyrocket. What's wrong with this picture?

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Published by: diligentpurpose on May 16, 2013
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 A man who ran away on foot during a car stop on Aug. 9, 2012, in West Philadelphia was eventually shot to death by  police after the pursuit.
Exclusive: Shootings by Philly policesoar as violent crime plummets
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Philadelphia police shot 52suspects last year whileresponding to calls for reported crimes.The number of policeshootings climbed to thehighest level it’s been in 10years.Philadelphia has had one of thehighest rates of shootings bypolice in the nation.
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The number of violent crimes fell last year in Philadelphia, asdid assaults on police officers.But the number of people shot by police is up.Way up.The number of shootings by police in 2012 resulting in deathor injury climbed to the highest level it’s been in 10years. Philadelphia police shot 52 suspects last year whileresponding to calls for reported crimes. Of those shot, 15people died.
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 And the city's own police watchdog says the department hasn'tprovided a reason for the increase. The Police AdvisoryCommission has been repeatedly blocked in its efforts toreview shootings and, according to the executive director of the Police Advisory Commission, Internal Affairs has refusedto supply requested information about any of the shootings.Police Internal Affairs investigators and the district attorney'soffice have not raised any known concerns about theshootings. But the number dwarfs that of the previous year. In2011, 35 were shot. In 2012, the shootings increased almost50 percent.Critics say the data, collected and analyzed by Philly.com,
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raise questions about the use of deadly force in Philadelphia.“It certainly raises a red flag,” said David Rudovsky, the civilrights attorney and University of Pennsylvania law professor.“The numbers almost speak for themselves.”“If it is higher, we need to know why,” said Kelvyn Anderson, of the Philadelphia’s Police Advisory Commission.Philadelphia in recent years has had one of the highest ratesof shootings by police in the nation. When measured againstviolent crime, Philadelphia, more often than not, tops other major cities for which data were available: Dallas, Baltimore,Chicago, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and New YorkCity.In an interview last month, Police Commissioner Charles H.Ramsey said he saw no need to reevaluate the use of deadlyforce."I think we have a solid policy and consider it best practice," he said.Of the statistics, he said, "The numbers fluctuate from year-to-year."The Police Commissioner also said he was skeptical about drawing conclusions by contrasting Philadelphiato other big cities."You have to put in all in context," Ramsey said: "The question is: 'What is the officer confronting on the streetor why they are shooting at someone?' You have to take a look and see what the situation was at the time."One factor: Assaults on police."We have a lot of people on the street with guns, a lot of people not afraid to use guns, and a lot of them arenot afraid to assault a police officer," Ramsey said.
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