The total–128 through Thursday–is the second-lowest in 50 years. Geoffrey P. Alpert, who researches high-risk police activities, explained, “We’re starting to see the impact of all this new training and equipment, and a shift because of the overall concern for officer safety.”
Robert Mueller and the #MeToo Movement are The Crime Report readers’ choices for Justice Newsmakers of the Year. The policy reversals at the Department of Justice, the resistance of sanctuary cities to Trump immigration policies, and sexual misconduct in high places headlined our annual readers’ poll of justice developments that were significant in 2017 —and will likely resonate in 2018.
“These are challenging times for officers,” says St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell. A cop in nearby Eagan says citizens are more brazen and law enforcers are “walking on eggshells” after controversial shootings.
Officer Cyrus Mann shot three people in three years, killing one–an “exceedingly rare” feat in law enforcement work, according to one expert. He was fired but is back on the job after an arbitrator’s ruling.
The Washington Post says reaction by both police and the community to the shooting of Justine Damond by a black Minneapolis cop has been much different than when Philando Castile was killed by an officer last year.
A year after Philando Castile was killed, Chiraag Bains of Harvard’s Criminal Justice Policy Program says, “I worry that this case will corrode people’s faith in the criminal justice system,. You can do everything right and still get shot.”
Although the number of unarmed people killed by police dropped slightly, the overall pace of police killings for 2017 through Friday was on track to approach 1,000 killed for a third year in a row, the Washington Post reports.
Video evidence has allowed prosecutors to bring criminal charges against officers involved in controversial shootings, but a recent series of acquittals demonstrates its limitations. “It’s not the end-all, be-all,” says the Milwaukee district attorney.