The New York Police Department’s annual firearm-discharge report shows how rare police shootings have become, says the New York Times. The 33 instances in which an officer intentionally shot at a suspect last year represented a 30 percent decrease from the year before. It reflected a far greater drop since the department began keeping records in 1971, when police fatally shot 93 people and injured 221 others. Last year, the police shot and killed 8 people and injured 16.
The report says 52 officers fired a total of 236 bullets during confrontations with suspects. A greater percentage of shootings happen from a distance of 6 to 10 feet than from 1 to 5 feet. “These figures are a testament to police officers' restraint, diligence, and honorable performance of duty,” the report says. “But they also show that the drastic reduction in violent crime over the past decade has meant that criminals and police enter into conflict less often.”