D.C. Police suspect a link between shootings and PCP
WASHINGTON - D.C. Police have been involved in more shootings this year than last year.
There have been 12 cases so far this year where police shot suspects. Last year there were eight police-involved shootings. Police Chief Cathy Lanier pointed out there's been a rise in PCP use at the same time and she thinks there may be a link.
"I think the level of armed assaults on police officers in this year's cases seems to be driven by PCP."
The National Institute on Drug Abuse says PCP is an addictive hallucinogen and can lead users to become violent and suicidal. In eight of the 12 cases so far this year the drug played a role.
"The suspect was either high on PCP, had PCP in their possession or was believed to be under the influence of PCP."
Lanier says it's not only the number of attacks that are on the rise.
"We've also now gotten some statistical data back that the potency of the PCP that we're seeing in drug screening is much much higher."
Lanier says despite this year's rise in police shootings 12 cases are still substantially fewer than 2007's 20 cases.
Nov 8, 2009
Amy Held (WTOP)