Joel Rubin and Sarah Ardalani
Los Angeles Times
June 12, 2012

The first deadly encounter of 2011 came quickly for police in Los Angeles County, when an officer killed an armed burglar on the second day of the year. The last person to be killed by police that year was shot a few days after Christmas in Palos Verdes after he allegedly beat his elderly father and pretended to point a gun at officers.

Between these ill-fated bookends, 52 other people throughout the county were shot fatally by police throughout 2011 — significantly more law enforcement killings than the county typically experiences. Compared with the prior year, the 54 deaths amounted to a nearly 70% increase.

The high number of killings last year underscores a pronounced jump in the overall number of occasions in which officers fired their weapons at suspects. For example, the 63 shootings by officers from the Los Angeles Police Department in 2011 were a nearly 60% increase over the previous year.

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