Georgia on track to double deadly officer-involved shootings compared to last year

GEORGIA — Data obtained by Channel 2 Action News and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution show Georgia is on track to double its number of deadly officer-involved shootings.

The data comes from a Georgia Bureau of Investigation Open Records Request, showing 2017 and 2018 officer-involved shooting scenarios. The information provided reveals 2017 resulted in 30 deadly officer-involved shootings. Just a third of the way through 2018, there have already been 20 fatal officer-involved shootings across the state.

Channel 2 Investigative Reporter Nicole Carr spoke with GBI Director Vernon Keenan, who noted concern over recent, consecutive officer-involved shootings.

There have been 11 in just as many days, marking an unprecedented trend.

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"We don't know why we're having such a large number of shootings in such a short time frame, “Keenan said. “That is concerning to us. We don't know if we  have a pattern here.”

Keenan, who is in Arizona attending a convention with his counterparts from across the nation, also noted the strain the recent string of use of force cases have had on the agency.

"I do know that it puts a stress on our investigative resources,” he said. “Now we're having to, to support the Atlanta Field Office, pull agents from some of the specialty work units.”

A deeper look into the data showed 94 of 170 cases that  are still under investigation by the GBI. They span the period between January 1, 2017 and May 1, 2018, and do not include several redacted cases, and those that have taken place in the week.

Once those cases are closed, they head to prosecutors to determine whether the use-of-force was legal.