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​Report: LAPD shoots blacks, mentally ill disproportionately

Scene of fatal police shooting of man on L.A.'s Skid Row on Sunday, March 1, 2015.

CBS Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES -- When Los Angeles police officers fire at suspects, a new report shows their targets are disproportionately black or mentally ill.

The Los Angeles Police Department on Tuesday released the most comprehensive data on use of force ever compiled by the agency.

LAPD officers used force on members of the public nearly 2,000 times in 2015, including 21 people who were fatally shot, CBS Los Angeles reported.

The report shows 35 percent of people shot at by officers between 2011 and 2015 were black, while African Americans make up nine percent of the city's population.

The number of mentally ill people shot by police increased from five in 2014 to 14 last year. The 14 mentally ill people represent 37 percent of all the people shot in 2015.

Police Chief Charlie Beck says he hopes the report provides the framework for an important local and national discussion about the use of force.

The number of deadly fatal shootings by Los Angeles police last year outpaced the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which had 14; the Houston Police Department, which had 12; and Chicago, which had eight people die from police shootings in 2015, according to the report presented to the Police Commission.

Overall, however, department officials said the use of force by LAPD officers is still relatively rare: the 1,924 use-of-force cases in 2015 represented 0.13 percent of the 1.5 million recorded interactions between the public and the police department.

Some protesters briefly disrupted Tuesday's Police Commission meeting by chanting slogans referencing the fatal police shooting of 39-year-old Charly Keunang, who was known on Skid Row as "Africa," according to CBS Los Angeles.

The March 1, 2015 shooting, which was captured on cell phone video, sparked protests by activists who accused officers of escalating the situation and killing an unarmed man. A small group of protesters also staged a Skid Row-area rally to mark the date.

The Police Commission ruled last month the officers were justified in shooting Keunang.