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Task force to probe causes of police shootings spike

February 16, 2018

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A task force established by the Maine attorney general will try to find the underlying causes of a recent increase in police shootings.

Attorney General Janet Mills said Thursday that the panel will examine issues like drug use, mental health and domestic violence as possible contributors to what she called a “dramatic increase” in the use of potentially lethal force by police officers.

Mills’ office investigated 13 uses of deadly force resulting in nine fatalities in 2017. In 2016, it investigated six cases resulting in two deaths.

Alison Beyea, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine, praised the move and said merely examining whether a shooting was legally justified is not sufficient.

Mills is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor in this year’s race.

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