Police Shooting Analysis: Cops Have 7 Years’ Experience


Former FBI agent Larry Brubaker has written, “Pulling the Trigger: A 25-year Study of Deadly Force Encounters by Law Enforcement” (Galde Press, 2008), says St. Paul Pioneer Press columnist Ruben Rosario. The book reviews the 110 reported fatal police shootings in Minnesota from 1981 to 2005–cases that claimed the lives of 112 civilians and two cops.

Among the book’s factoids: The hours between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. accounted for most of the shootings – 58. Wednesdays – not Saturdays, as most people would assume, with all their shopping and social activities – was the day most fatal shootings took place – 28. Almost half the people killed by police were armed with a handgun. About one in five were armed with a knife. Of the 110 fatalities, three were unarmed. All but two of the people shot were male. “There is that notion out there that most are trigger-happy rookies or cowboy types,” Brubaker said. “But actually, the average age is 34 or 35, and the average length of service at the time of the shooting is about seven years.”

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