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Dallas Police Shoot and Kill First Man of 2016 During Traffic Stop

At about 9:45 Wednesday morning, a Dallas Police Officer shot and killed a man in the 3600 block of West Davis in Oak Cliff. It was the first fatal officer-involved shooting of the year. 

DPD says the man got out of his gray Nissan Sentra during a traffic stop and ran from officers. When he turned around and pointed a gun, police say, the officer shot him. The man was transported to a local hospital where he died from his injuries.

The deceased, who's yet to be identified, is the second person killed by Dallas officers — Micah Johnson, the man who shot and killed five Dallas police officers on July 7, died after a police robot detonated a pound of C4 explosives.

In March, a DPD officer shot at a man the officer said pointed a shotgun at him, but did not hit the man.

The low number of shootings represents a steep decline from 2015, when five men were shot to death, which in turn was a decline from 2014, when DPD officers shot and killed 10 people. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Dallas Police Chief David Brown have credited the declining number of officer-involved shootings in the city to the department's early efforts at de-escalation training, which is intended to help officers defuse potentially dangerous situations. 

"This police department trained in de-escalation far before cities across America did it," Rawlings said the night of the July shootings. "We’re one of the premier community policing cities in the country, and this year we have the fewest police officer-related shootings than any large city in America." 

The mayor's first claim is true, but his second claim is impossible to verify thanks to widely varying reporting standards around the country. DPD lists each shooting its officers are involved in on its website, along with the end outcome for the person shot and the officer who shot them.

The officer involved in Wednesday's shooting is also the first to be subject to DPD's newly changed policy for officers involved in shooting civilians. If the shooting had occurred last week, the officer would not have been asked for a statement by department investigators until 72 hours after the incident.

Brown changed the policy in response to a list of demands from the Next Generation Action Network, a local police reform advocacy group. Of course, the officer could simply assert his Miranda rights and refuse to give a statement at all — although it should be noted that an officer refusing to give a statement to DPD internal investigators would be grounds for discipline.

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