Salt Lake City officers used more force in 2021 — but less than expected, department report finds

Officers used pressure 985 occasions final 12 months, in keeping with the division’s 2021 use-of-force report.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Salt Lake Metropolis Police Chief Mike Brown in his workplace on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021.

Salt Lake Metropolis police final 12 months noticed a rise in total requires service in addition to stories of officers utilizing pressure. However officers nonetheless used much less pressure in 2021 than a department-conducted evaluation anticipated them to, a report launched Friday concluded.

Officers used nonlethal pressure 985 occasions final 12 months, in keeping with the division’s 2021 use-of-force report. That determine doesn’t embody interactions the place an officer fired their weapon, the report famous, however does embody actions like bodily restraint, less-than-lethal rounds, pointing a firearm, use of pepper spray and use of a taser or use of a baton.

In 2020, officers used such pressure 917 occasions. Nonetheless, utilizing a components based mostly on variations in comparable variables between that 12 months and 2021 — together with complete arrests and calls dealt with, together with the quantity of resistance to arrests and assaults on officers — the division anticipated officers to make use of nonlethal pressure 1,139 occasions in 2021.

“We see this improve in calls dealt with, improve in arrests, improve in resisting and assault on law enforcement officials, so once more the query is — did use of pressure change in proportion to that?” Deputy Chief Scott Mourtgos stated Friday throughout a information convention.

Mourtgos ready the division’s 2021 use-of-force report utilizing his expertise as a Ph.D. candidate on the College of Utah with experience in quantitative social sciences.

“We truly noticed a lower in what we might count on when accounting for these different elements that drive use-of-force incidents,” Mourtgos continued.

The 985 makes use of of pressure in 2021 amounted to 0.57% of all police calls that 12 months. SLCPD Chief Mike Brown stated neighborhood members ought to take into account that as at, or close to, “a worldwide minimal.”

This lower from the anticipated quantity of makes use of of pressure is a results of the division’s insurance policies, de-escalation strategies and officer coaching, Brown stated.

The common use of pressure interplay was with a 34-year-old white man, in keeping with the report.

When damaged down by race, 48% of forceful interactions occurred with white folks, 17% occurred with Hispanic folks, 12% occurred with Black folks, 5% with American Indian/Alaskan Native folks and 4% with Asian/Pacific Islander folks.

Lower than 1% of forceful interactions occurred with Center Jap folks, in keeping with the report. Folks of different races had been the topic of two% of makes use of of pressure, and in 4% of makes use of of pressure, officers didn’t word the race of people that had been the topic in such interactions.

9 % of instances weren’t included due to an information error, the report notes. In accordance with the division, the sum of all these percentages was above 100% resulting from rounding.

The division is on tempo in 2022 to surpass final 12 months’s 173,256 requires service, Brown stated.

Though he doesn’t know what’s accounting for the obvious improve in calls lately, he famous that calls appear to be getting extra aggressive, with extra folks carrying weapons and extra folks keen to make use of them in crimes.

“I believe that the volatility, and what the perpetrators are keen to do, that’s undoubtedly having an affect in our communities,” Brown stated Friday.

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