An officer-involved shooting that left a suspect dead in Lynn, Massachusetts early Tuesday morning is raising new questions.
Lynn Police said Monday's incident stemmed from a robbery call at the Gulf gas station at the corner of the Lynnway and Commercial Street.
necn Investigates is now looking into overall police shootings in the Bay State.
At issue is why so many shootings are taking place in the city of Lynn. When necn Investigates asked how many police shooting deaths there were nationwide, the answer is no one knows because no one is tracking them.
“We started writing some of the names on the wall I believe this summer,” said Jeremy Thompson, manager of Roxbury's Haley House.
Inside the restaurant, a wall lists over 900 names of deadly police incidents in the United States. The mission of the non-profit, according to their website, is to “help those vulnerable by the harshest effects of inequality move toward wholeness and economic independence.”
“As busy as we are, it’s hard to update the 10 to 20 names added every single week,” Thompson said.
Police departments haven’t been required to report to the FBI or U.S. Department of Justice.
But necn Investigates has been tracking the number of police-involved shooting deaths. In the last two years, 21 people have been shot and killed by police departments in Massachusetts — 12 of those in 2015, nine in 2016.
Looking at the numbers comparing Boston of nearly 670,000 people and the much smaller city of Lynn at 92,000, nearly 29 percent of the deaths happened in Boston with six people killed. But much smaller Lynn, just an eighth the size of Boston, is on the same track, accounting for nearly 19 percent. Three of those four Lynn police shootings happened just this year.
Soon, the latest shooting death from Lynn will be added to the wall at Haley House.
“It becomes heartbreaking and an emotional toll on the person who has to write that name,” Thompson said.
The lack of reporting will change at the end of this year when police departments will be required to report all deadly police incidents to the Department of Justice.
Starting next year, each department will be required to report quarterly or risk losing federal funding for their police departments.