Police Shooting Incidents: The NYPD’s New Math
January 8, 2007
The NYPD must be desperate in attempting to portray itself as the soul of restraint, following the 50-bullet fatal police shooting of Sean Bell.
It is now applying a kind of new math, one not taught in any school.
Last Thursday, the day Police Commissioner Ray Kelly announced the Rand Corporation would review the department’s weapons training and procedures, Deputy Commissioner for Public Information Paul Browne handed out to reporters at One Police Plaza a 10-point paper entitled, “Police Shooting Incidents.”
Here are the ten points.
l. “There were 13 fatal police shootings
in 2006, compared to 9 in 2005.”
2. “The 9 fatal shootings in 2005
was the lowest number since 1973, when there were 54 [a decrease
of 83 per cent.]”
3. “During the 1990’s, there
was an average of 25 fatal police shootings per year. Since 2002,
it has averaged 12 per year.”
4. “In 2005, the rate of fatal police
shootings per 1,000 was .25, the lowest rate since 1973 when it was
1.82 [a decrease of 86 per cent].”
5. “Compared to 1994, when there
were 30 fatal police shootings at a rate of .99 per thousand officers,
the 13 fatalities in 2006 at a rate a .36 per thousand officers represents
a decrease of 57 per cent in the number and 64 per cent in the rate.”
6. “Based on a survey of 9 large
American cities, New York has had the lowest rate of fatal police
shootings per thousand offices each year from 2002-2005.”
7. “As of December 31, 2006, the
number of officers involved in shooting incidents  was down
7 per cent from 2005  and down 54 per cent from 1997 ”
8. “The number of rounds fired in 2006  was down 12 per cent from 2005  and down 48 per cent from 1997 .”
Again, what is the significance of these figures? Again, why was the year 1997 chosen for comparison?
9. “The average number of rounds fired
per officer in 2006 [3.5] was down 5 per cent from 2005 [3.7] but up from
10. As of December 31, 2006, the number of suspects
wounded in police shooting incidents in 2006  was down 21 per cent
from 2005  and is down 41 per cent from 1997.”
In the 1990s, when Kelly became police commissioner under David Dinkins amidst a burgeoning corruption scandal, Kelly hired an outside company to study the department’s Internal Affairs Division, notes a former top NYPD official. The study recommended the elimination of IAD’s field units into a centralized bureau. Hence, its current status as the Internal Affairs Bureau.
Taking office again in 2002, Kelly hired McKinsey and Company to examine the roles of Mayor Rudy Giuliani and the department’s top brass during 9/11 – specifically their rushing to the World Trade Center immediately after the attack. The report criticized their actions.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, however, deep-sixed the report after Giuliani complained to him about it. When’s the last time you heard Kelly mention it?
What about the issue he refuses to address, much less acknowledge – the revelation in Wayne Barrett’s book “Rudy “An Investigative Biography of Rudolph Giuliani” that Rudy’s father Harold, did jail time for armed robbery. [See pages 115-117 of Barrett’s book.]
The issue is not – nor should it be – whether Rudy is responsible for the sins of his pops. Of course, he is not. Rather, it is Giuliani’s refusal to address or even publicly acknowledge his father’s crimes.
Maybe, it’s that no one on his staff has the courage to ask him.
Copyright © 2007 Leonard Levitt