Officer-involved shootings linked to suspects with mental illness, D.A. says in report
BATON ROUGE – In an annual report analyzing officer-involved shootings that resulted in either death of an offender or lawmen, District Attorney Hillar Moore called attention to what he believes is a serious lack of mental health assistance.
Since the ambush of 2016, Moore and his team have studied each case in Baton Rouge. That year five civilians and three officers died in shootings – including the three officers killed in the July attack and the lone suspect. The following year, in 2017, there were far fewer – three citizens and an officer.
Research indicates that [many] “involve persons suffering from mental illness.”
In fact, Moore said in a statement, 50 percent of the officer-involved shootings was with a suspect who suffered from mental illness.
“This fact alone suggests our entire community must take greater responsibility for treatment and care of the mentally ill.”
Moore also stood by officers who have to make a life-or-death decision to open or return fire.'
“One of the emerging lessons from across our nation is that in 28 percent of the fatal shootings nationwide the person who died was shooting at officers or someone. I join my law enforcement partners in recognizing that when a suspect is threatening an officer or a member of the public with a firearm, the officer will rarely have any other option than to use deadly force to stop a firearm threat,” Moore said.
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