More Than One-Third of People Shot by LAPD in 2015 Were Mentally Ill: Police Department Report

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A Smith & Wesson M&P is fired on the range at the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic. (Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

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More than a third of the people shot by Los Angeles police last year had documented signs of mental illness, nearly triple the number from the year before, according to a lengthy review by LAPD officials.

The report, made public Tuesday morning, offered an in-depth look at how and when officers used force in recent years, breaking down police shootings and less-serious incidents in a variety of ways.

The analysis comes during a period of heightened national scrutiny of how police officers use force, particularly against African Americans. Some shootings by LAPD officers have generated criticism in recent months, including the fatal shooting of a homeless man on skid row and another living in Venice Beach.

Although most of the 38 people shot by LAPD officers in 2015 were Latino, the report found, African Americans continued to account for a disproportionately high number given the city’s demographics. Eight of the 38 people — or 21% — struck by LAPD gunfire in 2015 were black, the report said. African Americans make up about 9% of the city’s population.

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