FBI Report Finds 150 Shootings By Agents Justified

Internal FBI investigations determined that shots fired by its agents in 150 cases over the years were justified, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

According to interviews and internal FBI records obtained by the Times, FBI agents fatally shot 70 “subjects” and wounded 80 others from 1993 to early 2011. In none of those cases was a shooting deemed improper, according to the Times investigation.

The Times’ survey of 289 deliberate shootings evidenced in the documents, including shootings in which no one was harmed, showed that only five were designated “bad shoots” that didn’t comply with bureau policy–but in none of those cases did a bullet hit someone. These findings are “predictable,” the Times wrote.

Last month an FBI agent fatally shot a Chechen man who was questioned in Orlando, Fla. about his relationship to Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarneav. Conflicting reports on whether the subject was armed or not called into question the FBI agent’s justification in shooting him.

“The F.B.I. takes very seriously any shooting incidents involving our agents, and as such we have an effective, time-tested process for addressing them internally,” an FBI spokesperson told the Times.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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