by Abdul-Hakim Shabazz, Esq.

Last year I did a deep dive into the data regarding police action/officer related shootings as they were very prominent in the headlines.

It looks like this will be an annual event.  

Part of my motivation is today’s rally at the statehouse where, if their past statements are any indication, the 21st century equivalent of a lynch mob is going to call for criminal prosecution of the officers involved in the Aaron Bailey shooting a couple of weeks ago.

The Mayor, trying to placate this crowd, has offered proposals for diversity training and a review of the use of force by IMPD.  It would have been nice to have all the facts first regarding the Bailey incident, but we are where we are.  

So in all the chatter about police action shootings, which by the way, Indianapolis has only had one this year, I decided to take a look at the data so far this year from across the country.  Here’s what I found according to the Washington Post which has done a really good job keeping track of reported incidents.

  • There have been 523 police action shootings that resulted in fatalities, ten of which occurred in the state of Indiana.
  • Mental illness played a role in 25 percent of the incidents.
  • 173 were fleeing the scene.
  • 501 of the fatalities were male.
  • 23 percent (120) were African-American, only eight were unarmed.
  • In 427 instances a weapon (gun. Knife, car) was involved.
  • There were no body cams in 469 cases.

There’s a lot more information that you can explore yourself.  Just click here.  There is also data from 2016 and 2015.

I just thought as we go forward with this afternoon’s histrionic gathering, a few facts couldn’t hurt, however, my spider-sense tells me this likely fall on several deaf ears and blind eyes.


Abdul-Hakim is an attorney and the editor of IndyPolitics.Org.  His opinions are his own but you are encouraged to adopt and share them with others.