Police Experience and Use of Deadly Force: A Minnesota Study

In Minnesota’s fatal police shootings, less seasoned officers most likely to shoot

MPR News Jon Collins December 9, 2019

“It was in July 2017 that two young cops were dispatched to southwest Minneapolis on reports of a possible assault. The 911 caller, Justine Ruszczyk, approached the police SUV in the alley behind her home. The officer in the passenger seat, Mohamed Noor, shot her through the open driver’s side window. 

“Noor had been licensed as a police officer for less than two years. His partner had just one year under his belt.

“That Noor was relatively green when he killed Ruszczyk is hardly an anomaly. When it comes to fatal police shootings in Minnesota, less experienced officers are more likely to pull the trigger.

“An analysis of state licensing data by MPR News shows that police officers who fired their weapons in fatal shootings in the last five years generally had less time on the job than typical officers licensed in the state. The median officer who opened fire had been licensed for just about seven years, while the typical active officer in the state has twice that experience.

Data analyzed by MPR News includes the licensing records of 107 Minnesota officers who fired their weapons in 63 fatal on-duty shootings between 2014 and 2019. Some officers who fired their weapons in five fatal shootings could not be identified because of limitations on information released by the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training.

“That doesn’t come as a surprise to most people in law enforcement. Cops with less experience are often put into less desirable assignments in higher-crime areas, where it’s more likely they’ll be put in a position to use force…”

Read the full article HERE.


Not surprising, but important. Training and leadership matter.