State AG Forms Task Force to Investigate Spike in Police Shootings

Feb 16, 2018

State Attorney General Janet Mills 2015
Credit Maine Public

Maine Attorney General Janet Mills is forming a new task force to investigate the underlying causes of a recent increase in police shootings.

Mills invited 13 people with expertise in the fields of addiction, domestic violence and crime to participate.

She says she wants members of the group to start out by asking a lot of questions.

“Is there an incidence in domestic violence causing officers to respond to more volatile situations?” Mills says, as an example. “Is there an increase in mental health crises? Is there are increase in the use and influence of drugs; heroin, opiates that are causing these confrontations?”

Mills says she doesn't know the answers, but thought this group of people might help arrive at some.

Mills' office investigated six cases of deadly force in 2016 resulting in two deaths. In 2017 investigators found 13 cases resulting in 9 fatalities.

The task force's first meeting will be March 6.