Are the Fibbies telling fibbies? According to documents unearthed by nytimes.com, agents employed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation who clear leather and let loose the dogs of war never ever shoot the wrong person. Or shoot the right person at the wrong time. [Click here to read F.B.I. Shooting Database Overview, 1993-2009.] The article goes into some detail about two questionable shoots that an FBI internal investigation found fully justified. But it’s the totality of the stats, and some of the charts, that are most intriguing. Here’s the NYT’s summary . . .
From 1993 to early 2011, F.B.I. agents fatally shot about 70 ‘subjects’ and wounded about 80 others — and every one of those episodes was deemed justified, according to interviews and internal F.B.I. records obtained by The New York Times through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. The last two years have followed the same pattern: an F.B.I. spokesman said that since 2011, there had been no findings of improper intentional shootings.
That’s some good shooting Tex! Doing the data dive thing, we see that the FBI breaks down the 497 shooting incidents (investigated by the FBI) as follows:
– 216 Accidental Discharges (43 percent)
– 188 Intentional Shootings (38 percent)
– 93 Animal Shootings (19 percent)
Note: “accidental discharges,” not “negligent discharges.” What does that tell you about their culture and accountability? Or maybe that’s just me being anti-LEO again. Anyway, Agents shot eighty-five dogs. And one tiger.
The FBI report is quick to point out that if you combine Intentional Shootings and Animal Shootings FBI Agents really did mean to shoot their guns 57 percent of the time. Unless—and excuse me for being cynical again—some negligent discharges went unreported. What are the odds?
LA. We love it! That’s where FBI Agents fired their weapons most over the study’s 17-year time frame. After that Washington, Chicago and New York. Albuquerque may be hard to spell, but it’s the place where you’re least likely to see Fibbies bring their guns to bear on bad guys. Or animals. Or by mistake.
Either the FBI skews heavily towards middle-aged agents or middle-aged agents are more
trigger happy likely to use their firearms than the youngsters or the old guys. Agents who were 31 to 35-years-old were responsible for majority of shootings (130). Agents with five years or less at the Agency were the heavy hitters, ballistically speaking (140+). Then again, “accidental discharges.”
If you’re a bad guy who doesn’t want to get shot by the FBI (or an animal or an FBI Agent who doesn’t want to fire his or her gun “by accident”) it pays to pay more attention between 12pm and 4pm on a Wednesday. In March. In good light. Whether or not a SWAT team is involved doesn’t seem to make a difference; it’s about a 50 – 50 split in terms of what kind of agent fired their gun.
The report also offers some details of a few incidents excerpted from another report obtained by The Old Gray Lady. [Click here to read F.B.I. Shooting Incident Reviews, 1993-2011.] In one account, an Agent fired a warning shot into the air when he was surrounded by “a mob which had become aggressive in its actions.” Another Agent fired a shotgun into some bushes just in case. “While intoxicated, an Agent fired his weapon at an object.” (I wonder who suffered more: the Agent who fire his gun or the brother officer who ratted him out.)
There’s an Agent who feared he would get run over so shot at a departing truck six times. In terms of dog shootings, all canines are aggressive, including one that was attacking an Agent’s friend’s small dog. The Agent dispatched the larger animal with two shots from his Glock 22. Well, he injured the animal, who was then euthanized.
The report only gets personal when discussing UDs (Unintentional Discharges). Apparently they are “unacceptable and pose a significant risk of harm.” Then again, it points out that [collectively] Agents unholster their weapons for training 213,760 times a year. “When placed into the context of the very broad calculations above, the number of UDs within the FBI were relatively few.”
The old guys are the worst; 41 to 45-year-olds account for the majority of the “UDs.” Friday is UD day at the FBI. In October. At the range. There’s a couple ‘o charts about the Glock’s role in UDs but the black-and-white copy denies us a chance to examine the charts for useful data (pages 68 and 69). Hey, remember that ATF guy who negligently fired his gun during a presentation to school students? Same deal here . . .
An Agent was providing a presentation on the FBI to middle school students. As part of the presentation on the weapons used by the FBI, the Agent held a Smith & Wesson Model 13-3 aloft with the barrel pointed towards the ceiling. In order to demonstrate the rotation of the cylinder, the Agent pulled the trigger, discharging one round into the ceiling. The Agent had emptied the weapon before the presentation, but unintentionally left one round in the cylinder. [sic]
In case you were wondering what happens to Agents who cause a “UD”, here’s the document’s insight into the punitive process:
The typical penalty received by Special Agents for an Unintentional discharge: letter of censure, three days suspension and remedial firearms training.
Needless to say (although I guess I have to say it), the FBI is staffed by carefully selected, highly trained, professional, courteous, brave men and women who work tirelessly to protect US citizens from criminals. They are way more responsible with firearms than the average citizen. Unlike other Americans, FBI Agents are, deservedly, entitled to access to “assault rifles” and fully automatic weapons and have the right to carry a firearm anywhere (including airplanes). Or not.