More than one out of four assault weapon incidents involve police, says a study by the Violence Policy Center (VPC). Based on reports in the news of assault weapons incidents over two years the group said the study is a snapshot of the effect of America's laissez-faire policy toward these deadly military-style weapons.
The study found that the percentage of assault weapons incidents involving police rose significantly between the two periods studied: March 1, 2005 to February 28, 2006, and March 1, 2006 to February 28, 2007. Police were involved in 29 of 117 incidents (24.8 percent) in the first period and 35 of 118 incidents (29.7 percent) in the second period–an increase of 20.7 percen. The study also found that shots were fired from assault weapons (other than police weapons) in three out of every four reported incidents involving police, and that gangs were reported to be involved in one out of five of the reported incidents involving assault weapons. At least one victim was killed in 86 out of 235 reported incidents (36.6 percent). A total of 115 deaths were reported for the 86 incidents.