WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Violent, often deadly confrontations between law enforcement and suspects are becoming all too familiar this year.
In all of Palm Beach County this year, seven suspects have been shot and killed by law enforcement. Last year, that number was three.
Psychotherapist Fran Sherman didn’t treat any of the suspects in recent shootings, but says she does see a growing anger toward authority figures and an eroding fear of consequences.
"People feel like they're entitled to have a gun, entitled to shoot, and people have to realize that if they take a gun out to a police officer, that there are serious ramifications," said Sherman.
In seven years as police chief in Boca Raton, Andrew Scott dealt with three officer-involved shootings.
He says drugs, easy access to guns, and dead end prospects for many who come here, are a volatile mix.
To date, this year, there have been ten police officer-involved shootings countywide.
"Every individual officer has to be aware that any situation that he or she encounters ultimately can turn into a deadly force situation, just based on the way we do business here in South Florida," said Scott.
Sherman says a change in dialog is needed.
"In general, in our society today, people don't trust anybody in authority, because they think everybody is sort of out to get them," said Sherman.
Last year in Florida, seven officers were either shot or stabbed to death.
This year, that number is lower, at three.
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