Josue Javier Diaz
A woman, right, points to the location where Josue Javier Diaz, 28, was shot and killed to his mother, Doris Loza, left. Diaz was shot and killed by an undercover police detective on Albemarle Rd. in east Charlotte on Jan. 26, 2017. Jeff Siner

By Caroline Metzler, The Charlotte Observer

Twenty-two people were shot and killed by police in North Carolina last year, according to a database compiled by The Washington Post. Three of those killings were in Charlotte.

The Washington Post stated that 987 people were fatally shot by on-duty police officers in the U.S. in 2017. The paper has compiled data on every fatal police shooting since 2015.

The interactive database allows readers to filter through the victims for multiple factors, including state, race, gender and whether or not the victim was mentally ill or possessed a weapon.

Of the 22 people shot and killed by police in North Carolina, 21 were male and one was female. Half of the state’s victims of fatal police shootings were white, while half were minorities.

According to The Washington Post, four of those killed in North Carolina were mentally ill. Twenty had a gun in their possession at the time of the shooting.

The number of fatal police shootings remained consistent nationally over the past three years, according to Post’s databases for 2015 and 2016. Nationally, the number of killings has remained close to 1,000 each year.

In North Carolina, the number of people shot and killed by police in 2017 decreased from the past year. Thirty-three people were shot and killed by police in the state in 2016, which was up from 23 shot and killed by police in N.C. in 2015.

Ten people have been shot and killed by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department since 2015. None of the officers involved in any of the killings were charged.

Charlotte deaths

These are the three people who were fatally shot by police in Charlotte last year:

▪  Rueben Galindo, a 29-year-old Hispanic man, was shot and killed by police outside of his Charlotte apartment on Sept. 6. According to recordings released by CMPD in September, Galindo had made a 911 call in Spanish stating that he had a gun, but that he had no bullets. His family said he wanted to surrender the weapon to police. CMPD said Galindo had a gun in his hand when he exited the apartment. The police chief later said the gun found at the scene did not have any bullets. Video released in October showed Galindo left the building with his hands above his head as officers shot him. He did not have a known mental illness and did not appear to be fleeing. The two CMPD officers who shot Galindo were not charged.

▪  Iaroslav Mosiiuk, a 25-year-old white man from Ukraine, was shot and killed by police in Charlotte on March 8. CMPD said Mosiiuk was armed with a hunting rifle, and that he pointed the weapon at an officer seconds before he was killed. A 911 call by a relative stated Mosiiuk was potentially suicidal. Mosiiuk’s sister, who witnessed the shooting, said the gun was not operable. The autopsy revealed Mosiiuk was shot in the back. The Mecklenburg County District Attorney ruled the shooting justified, and the officer involved was not charged.

▪  Josue Javier Diaz, a 28-year-old Hispanic man, was shot and killed by an undercover police detective in Charlotte on Jan. 26. CMPD said Diaz’s car sideswiped the officer’s unmarked vehicle, and that Diaz stopped, got out of the car and fired a pistol at the officer seconds before he was fatally shot. He did not have a known mental illness. The undercover officer who shot Diaz was not charged, and his name and work history was not released to the public.

Metzler: 704-231-5316, @crmetzler 

This article was originally published by The Charlotte Observer.

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