LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Los Angeles City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez today introduced a motion to have the Los Angeles Police Department draft a report on all shootings by its officers in 2021, which saw the highest number of LAPD shootings since 2017.
Rodriguez cited the Dec. 23 shooting of 14-year-old Valentina Orellana- Peralta, who was fatally struck by a stray bullet fired by an officer aiming at an assault suspect inside a Burlington store in North Hollywood.
The motion, which will first go to the Public Safety Committee — which is chaired by Rodriguez — requests a report with an overview of all 2021’s shootings, including the status and timeline of the investigations into them and the findings of non-compliance with the LAPD’s use of force policy as compared to findings for the previous five years.
There were 37 shootings involving the LAPD in 2021, 18 of them fatal. In 2020, there were 27 police shootings and seven people were killed. In 2019, the LAPD reached a three-decade low with 26 police shootings.
Additionally, while officers fired their weapons more times than the year before, the number of suspects with a firearm during those shootings decreased, Police Chief Michel Moore told the Los Angeles Police Commission on Tuesday.
“To see this resurgence, to see it come in with the increase in weapons other than firearms, is causing us to take a deep dive to identify what training and what other avenues we need to pursue,” Moore told the commission.
Of the 37 shootings last year, about 40% of the suspects had a firearm. The remaining 22 suspects had objects classified as weapons by the department, including edged weapons, vehicles and bike locks.
In 2020, 59% of the suspects in police shootings had firearms.
“In our initial analysis of this past year of shootings, we notice a significant increase in instances involving weapons other than firearms … I’m well aware that this commission is also extremely interested in learning more about these circumstances and what actions the department is taking to counter this increase,” Moore told the Police Commission.
Moore said the department is reviewing its dispatch protocols and policies for reports that involve non-firearm weapons.
He added that over the last five years the department has put several initiatives in place to reduce the number of police shootings, including restrictive policies, training and tools to give officers’ alternatives to using their firearms.