SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Coming off two tragedies in law enforcement, violent encounters between police and suspects appear to be on the rise.
Two local police officers were recently shot and killed just 16 days apart. First Newman Police Corporal Ronil Singh, and then rookie Davis Officer Natalie Corona.
Just this week, there have been five officer-involved shootings in the Sacramento region, three of which ended with the suspects dead.
In Sacramento County Thursday, a suspect was shot at by Elk Grove Police just feet away from a restaurant holding a benefit for the family of murdered Davis Police Officer Natalie Corona.
The irony is not lost, but it prompted us to ask officials if there is any correlation between officer deaths and officer shootings.
While this type of violence appears to come in waves at times, retired Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness says it is typical for officers to be more on guard and protective of their own safety when a fellow officer is killed.
“I guess a heightened sense of concern and awareness,” McGinness said.
But can that heightened awareness lead to more use of deadly force by officers? McGinness says in some cases, it’s possible.
“Should it be a shock to people that as officers are shot with increasing frequency, they’re going to be more defensive, more inclined to protect themselves and that might include preparation for the use of deadly force and even the use of deadly force? I think that’s reasonable,” McGinness said.
Data shows there may not be a correlation between officer deaths and officer-involved shootings.
According to a report released by the California Department of Justice, in 2016, five officers and 157 civilians were killed, mostly by gunshots. In 2017, while fewer officers were killed, more civilians died.
While we don’t yet know the number of officer-involved shootings in 2018, McGinnis says more officers were shot and killed in 2018 than ever before.
Seven incidents in just three weeks, leaving two officers and several suspects dead and many questions about where this uptick in violence is coming from.