- Associated Press - Monday, April 4, 2016

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Oklahoma has had only a fraction of the number of fatal officer-involved shootings in the first three months of 2016 compared with this time last year.

So far this year, there have been three fatal encounters with Oklahoma law enforcement. The latest incident was in early February. Two died in police shootouts, and another was shot during a scuffle with an officer.

The Tulsa World’s (https://bit.ly/1qku1MM ) database of fatal shootings shows that nine people were shot and killed by state law enforcement from New Year’s Day to April 4, 2015. Last year, the 34 total fatal officer-involved shootings were the most the state saw in at least eight years.

Saturday marked exactly one year since a former Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office reserve deputy, Robert Bates, reportedly mistook his revolver for his stun gun and fatally shot Eric Harris.

Since 2009, the number of fatal law enforcement shootings in Oklahoma each year has increased or remained the same. This year, Oklahoma seems to be on track to be among years with the least officer-involved fatal shootings.

“I don’t know that anything has really changed, and that’s one of those things that you never can really predict,” Oklahoma Highway Patrol Capt. Paul Timmons said. “Sometimes we go years and we don’t have any officer-involved shootings or they’re really low. And then some years, like last year, we get a spike and nobody can really say what a reason for that is.”

The Highway Patrol hasn’t made any recent changes to its use-of-force training methods or how it operates in dangerous situations.

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Information from: Tulsa World, https://www.tulsaworld.com


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