Keene Area Police Have Killed Four People in Under Four Years

A Keene police officer shot and killed a man who was using a knife to hold his ex-girlfriend hostage on February 2. A preliminary report by the state attorney general found that the shooting was justified.

The Keene Sentinel newspaper reported that three other people have been killed by police in the Keene area in less than four years. The attorney general found all three killings were justified.

“It is statistically rare to have four fatal police shootings in such a short time period and in such a small area in terms of geography and population,” Prof. Peter Stevenson of the Criminal Justice Studies program at Keene State College told the Valley Post.

Stevenson, himself a former police officer, said there are studies that show that lives are saved in places where police departments invest in training officers in communication skills.

“The studies also show that women do much better than men at using verbal skills to de-escalate these kinds of situations,” he said.

A spokesperson for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and two state legislators from Keene, all declined to comment on the shootings.

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