By Shirin Rajaee

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The number of deaths in confrontations between police officers and suspects rose in 2017, according to the California Department of Justice.

In most of the deaths, the report says officers believed the suspects were armed.

In Del Paso Heights, where Joseph Mann was shot and killed two years ago this week by Sacramento Police, the community is still healing. The report showing an increase in civilians killed, with most being people of color, is just another reminder for many in the community that change is needed.

“We’ve been saying this all along, that this is right here in California, right here in Sac. We feel this on a day-to-day basis,” said Pastor Les Simmons.

He’s been fighting for change in Sacramento for some time, whether it was the controversial shooting of Mann in 2016 or the more recent shooting of Stephon Clark that sparked weeks of protests in Sacramento.

“Our community is still healing from [the 2016 Mann shooting], let alone the series of officer-involved shootings that happened since then.

The state report indicates 707 use of force incidents that resulted in serious injury or death. Most were from gunshot wounds. In all, 172 civilians were killed, a number higher than last year, and in the majority of those deaths, officers thought the suspects were armed.

Two officers were killed in 2017, down from eight in 2016.

The number of civilian deaths is spurring calls for change. A number of bills in the California legislature would tighten restrictions for deadly use of force by law enforcement and put a focus on de-escalation.

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