At least 23 people were shot by police in 2013 – 11 of them fatally, according to figures provided by Massachusetts State Police and Boston police, troubling authorities who say the numbers reflect the growing deadly threats police face, and startling civil libertarians.
Since 2008, the total number of people shot by officers and troopers has grown every year, peaking in 2013. In that time period, there have been 86 shootings, 67 of which were determined to be justified. Two were classified as accidental and two led to recommendations that the officers be retrained. The rest remain under investigation. Last year, Boston officials investigated 6 officer-involved shootings, compared with 1 in 2012. State police investigated 17 in 2013 compared with 14 in 2012.
Police cite two major causes for the uptick in violent confrontations: perpetrators, often mentally ill who are quick to attack police, and the growing availability of illegal guns. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.