California police killed 157 people last year — more than a third of them in L.A. County — report says
California’s attorney general says 157 people died during encounters with police in the state last year — and more than a third of those deaths occurred in L.A. County.
A report released Thursday by state Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra marks the first time California has publicly released statewide statistics on police use of force.
The report said there were 782 incidents in 2016 in which a police officer either used force that resulted in serious injury or death, or fired their weapon. And more than a quarter of those incidents happened in L.A. County, with the vast majority involving either the Los Angeles Police Department or the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department. (The Long Beach Police Department was the only other agency in double digits: 21.)
With 55 deaths — nearly all included in The Times’ Homicide Report database — L.A. County accounts for about 35% of last year’s fatalities at the hands of law enforcement across the state, according to the report.
Forty-two percent of the civilians involved were Latino. Although black people make up just 6% of the state’s population, according to the most recent Census data, they represented nearly 20% of the use-of-force and shooting cases last year. More than half of the officers involved were white.
A state law requires California police departments to report the data to the state attorney general’s office. Though some departments already tracked such data on their own, many did not.
Times staff writer Marisa Gerber contributed to this report.
For more news from the Los Angeles County courts, follow me on Twitter: @marisagerber
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