No other law enforcement agency in Minnesota has used deadly force more often over the past six years than St. Paul police, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Since 2009, St. Paul officers have shot and killed 11 men, nine of whom were people of color. By comparison, Minneapolis police were involved in at least four fatal shootings. In every St. Paul case, police said the suspect posed a threat to officers or the public.
But after the fatal shooting of a 24-year-old black man near the State Capitol, and against the national backdrop of increased tension and scrutiny of fatal encounters between police and black men, community leaders are asking hard questions about the department's use of deadly force and whether any of those killings could have been avoided. Officials say the reasons for the spike aren't clear. But fatal shootings by police in Minnesota are on the rise — 46 people were killed from 2009 through 2013, more than twice as many as were killed in the five years prior.