As New York City crime drops, police officers are using their weapons less. Last year they fired the fewest times since police began compiling the data three decades ago, says a report cited by the Associated Press. Last year, there were 111 firearms discharges, including shots fired at animals, suicide attempts, accidents, and at crime suspects. That compares with 127 in 2006 and 253 a decade ago.
There were 45 cases in which officers intentionally fired at suspects, down 25 percent from 2006. The majority of the 80 officers involved fired to defend themselves or others from the threat of injury or death, the police report said. Half the officers who fired at suspects were white, 31 percent Hispanic, 15 percent black and 4 percent Asian. Of suspects shot, 61 percent were black, 33 percent Hispanic and 4 percent white.