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Police-Involved Shootings in 2016 Already Outpace Last Year's Numbers

By Aidan Gardiner | July 20, 2016 7:49am | Updated on July 20, 2016 9:46am

EDITOR'S NOTE: The original version of this story contained incorrect information provided by the NYPD. There were 38 police-involved shootings between Jan. 1 and July 17, 2015. That number was initially presented by the NYPD as the total for 2015, which it was not.

NEW YORK CITY — Police have already fired their guns more in 2016 so far than they did during the same time period last year, according to NYPD statistics.

Police opened fire 42 times from Jan. 1 through July 17, 2016 — including during 22 "adversarial conflicts" with suspects including Jermaine Johnson, who was shot and killed by police in East Williamsburg on Sunday after attacking bystanders he believed were federal agents, an NYPD spokeswoman said Tuesday afternoon.

That's up from a total of 38 police-involved shootings during the same time period in 2015, about a 10.5 percent increase. Between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2015, police had fired their guns 67 times, an NYPD spokesman said Wednesday morning.

Police in 2016 also fired their guns accidentally seven times, used their guns against themselves twice and fatally shot eight animals, including a pit bull that belonged to a dancer for Madonna.

Police fired their weapons three times in what an NYPD spokeswoman called "intentional discharges." She couldn't provide further information about them.

Previous police-involved shooting reports list two other types of intentional discharges including cases of mistaken identity and "to summon assistance" in what they call an "intentional discharge - no conflict."

Shootings in which an officer fires on a colleague because they thought they were a suspect are "mistaken identity" shootings and had only happened twice between 2006 and 2014, according to the NYPD's latest available Annual Discharge Report.

The possibility of a sixth category, Intentional Discharge – No Conflict, exists, but its occurrence is extremely uncommon," the 2014 report reads.

"Because of the rarity of this type of discharge, it is not regularly tracked in the annual report, but is addressed on an as-it-occurs basis. In 2014, no such discharge occurred; no such discharge has occurred in more than a decade," it continues.

The number of 2016 shootings remains in line with historic lows for the NYPD, which had 127 police-involved shootings in 2006, the highest point in the past decade.

The police department releases its shooting numbers in an Annual Firearms Discharge Report. The report for 2015 is due out some time in the fall, an NYPD spokeswoman said.

NYPD officials said the department doesn't keep track of incidents in which officers are fired upon.

The 2016 police-involved shooting incidents include:

► Jan. 26: NYPD officers fatally shot Julian DeJesus, a rapper and father of two, who they say was approaching them and wouldn't drop a knife in his hand.

► Jan. 28: Police shot and wounded a man who'd just robbed a Midwood cellphone store with three other men.

► Feb. 15: An officer shot a man who claimed to be high on Angel Dust when he shot his gun in the air and then pointed it at a woman and her small dog.

► Feb. 20: Police wounded Jamal Funes, 34, during a shootout in Bed-Stuy after he pulled a gun on them and rammed a marked NYPD squadcar. Two officers were wounded in the exchange of gunfire.

► April 17: Officers fatally shot Maryland native George Tillman as he reached for his gun against their orders.

► April 19: Police officers shot a man in the hand when he tried to pull a gun on them as they arrested a suspect in another crime.

► May 4: Police shot and killed a pit bull that mauled another dog to death in Inwood, police say. A transit officer exiting a subway station saw the dog finish attacking the smaller dog and then turn on a man before he opened fire, officials say. 

► May 8: Police shot a man twice in the chest as he charged them with a dagger in Bergen Beach.

► May 11: NYPD officers shot Ramell Lockwood, 34, who then shouted "I'm ready to die!" as they took him into custody. Lockwood was running red lights in Queens Village when police pulled him over. A sergeant leaned into the car and Lockwood hit the gas, so the sergeant hopped in with him to avoid being dragged. Lockwood crashed into a wall and got out of the car where officers shot him.

► May 18: Police shot and killed a knife-wielding man in Midtown after he menaced a cashier inside the Food Emporium grocery store on Eighth Avenue and West 49th Street, officials said. Gary Conrad, 46, was escorted from the store by staffers before pulling out a knife and threatening NYPD officers, officials said. At least one police bullet grazed a tourist from California.

► June 19: Responding officers fatally shot Rashaun Lloyd, 25, when he pulled a gun on them

► July 4: Off-duty NYPD Office Wayne Isaacs shot and killed Delrawn Small, 37, after he approached the officer's vehicle during a road-rage altercation in Brooklyn just before midnight, police said. Video shows the officer open fire as soon as Small approached the window. The officer has since been stripped of his gun and badge.

► July 11: Police shot and killed a burglar who pointed a gun at an officer in Gravesend after robbing a house nearby, officials said.

► July 14: Detectives shot and killed a pit bull, Stonny Boy, that belonged to a dancer for Madonna. Kamar Stewart initially ordered the dog to attack another man June 25. Detectives visited Stewart's East New York home July 11 with a warrant for the earlier assault. Stewart again ordered the dog to attack so the detectives shot it dead.

► July 17: Police fatally shot Jermaine Johnson in the Cooper Park Houses in East Williamsburg after he began shooting at them. Police had responded to the scene after Johnson began threatening multiple people with a knife, saying he thought they were federal agents who were after him.