Officer involved shootings on the rise in Maricopa County - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Officer involved shootings on the rise in Maricopa County

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PHOENIX (AP) - Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery says he is concerned about a rise in officer-involved shootings.

Montgomery says there have been 41 officer-involved shootings in the county so far this year. That's compared to a total of 48 last year.

The county's top prosecutor says the upsurge can be attributed to what appears to be an increase in suspects willing to use weapons and threats of force against responding officers, a trend that is also being seen nationally.

"We are seeing an increasing willingness among suspects to use weapons and threaten force against police officers.. that certainly has been on the rise here in the valley and it certainly has been on the rise nationally too," he said.

Montgomery says his office remains committed to helping investigate each officer-involved shooting to be certain it is justified.

His comments this week come as a jury is considering the fate of a former Phoenix police officer charged with second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of an unarmed man during a domestic violence call.

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Copyright 2013 The Associated Press modified.

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