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Cops Shot Record Low Number of Suspects Last Year

The NYPD's firearms discharge report shows more weapons restraint in 2011 than at any other time in recent city history.

Cops Shot Record Low Number of Suspects Last Year

New York City cops killed nine suspects by gunfire, and injured 19 more during 2011, the second-lowest number in recent history, says a new NYPD report, according to the New York Times. 

The 82-page report — known as the annual firearms discharge report — looked at the 62 officers who fired their weapons last year, and found that two-thirds of the officers fired five or fewer shots. More than a quarter online fired a single shot, and in none of the encounters did the officers reload. 

According to the Times, of the nine suspects killed by police bullets, five were in possession of firearms, two had brandished knives, another had choked a detective and another was “using his vehicle as a weapon, injuring four civilians.”

During the 36 episodes in which police shot at suspects, five officers were injured by gunfire, with two of them injured by friendly fire.

The Times notes that the report does fail to tell the whole story when it comes to officers discharging their weapons. For instance, the report fails to solve the death of Denise Gay, 56, a retired home health aide who was killed by a stray bullet on the stoop of her Crown Heights home during a shootout on the day of the West Indian Parade. Cops shot at gunman Leroy Webster 73 times after he murdered another man, and when the dust settled, Gay was found dead.

The report, which does not mention Gay by name, says that in the situation “forensics were unable to determine definitively whose round caused her death.” 

According to the paper, the report simply says that “sometime during the incident, a female bystander several doors down from the location of the shooting was struck and killed.” 

The Times reached out to Gay’s brother, Leslie Gay Jr., who said that the police were “not owning up to it at all.”

“I believe one of the police shot her,” he told the paper.

The report comes on the heels of a shooting near LaGuardia Airport, where a uniformed NYPD detective shot and killed an unarmed motorist after the driver was pulled over for driving erratically. 

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