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A look at use of force cases where Atlanta officers have been hurt on the job

Data from 2019 and 2020 from the Atlanta Police Department shows an increase in officer injuries in cases involving use of force.

ATLANTA — Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said police officers were ambushed when an officer was shot and the alleged gunman was killed at an apartment building in Midtown on Wednesday afternoon.

As police investigate the circumstances that led up to the officers being met with gunfire, 11Alive is taking a look back at use of force cases where police officers have been hurt on the job in use of force incidents. 

On Wednesday, Bottoms said Atlanta Police were responding to a "shots fired" call at the Solace on Peachtree, located at 710 Peachtree Street.

RELATED: Officer shot during ambush in Midtown Atlanta, suspect killed

APD said gunfire erupted when officers exited the elevator of the building. That's when one officer was shot. Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant later confirmed the officer was hit in the face. 

"I'm often asked, where have officers backed off from doing their jobs, doing their duties. Today shows that, that has not happened. The men rushed into that facility recognizing they were coming up on a dangerous situation," he said.

APD officers have faced many dangerous encounters over the last few years. 11Alive looked at the stats from 2019 and 2020 concerning use of force cases where police were hurt.

A report from the police department indicates that in 2020, 41 officers were injured during use of force incidents. There were 15 incidents where officers were assaulted. The report explains that most of the use of force injuries that resulted in a cop being hurt was because a suspect tried to escape or assault someone else; many of those cases didn't involve weapons.

It's important to note that the reports do not specify whether the situations in which an officer was injured involved a shooting.

Data shows there were 27 officers injured in incidents involving use of force in 2019 compared to the 41 injured in 2020. There was a slight increase last year.

However, those numbers only reflect the times APD officers were injured. There have been hundreds of other instances with use of force. 

2020 data from the Atlanta Police Department shows 380 instances in which an officer reported use of force during a police-citizen encounter and a total of 373 use of force reports the previous year.

The 2020 report does say there were 10 weapon discharges for the year of 2020 with 15 officers involved. The report also lists which use of force cases have been deadly. The data lists cases where six suspects were killed and no officers died in 2020.

Incidents where a gun was used are still active, being reviewed by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation or the Office of Professional Standards. Police say they won't disclose details of those cases in the report. 

The GBI is also investigating Wednesday's shooting. Police Chief Rodney Bryant said the officer struck in Midtown is stable and able to speak.

"It is only through their training and by the grace of God that these officers did not come upon a more tragic situation," Bryant said.

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