A Problem in Columbus Policing

Data shows local law enforcement’s use of fatal force and the impact on Black people.

Chris Gaitten
Columbus Division of Police vehicle
Indianapolis had 19 law enforcement killings since 2015, compared to Columbus' 35.

Within weeks of the Civilian Police Review Board’s ballot victory in November, the fatal police shootings of two Black men, Casey Goodson Jr. and Andre Hill, bore out voters’ concerns in tragic fashion. Goodson was killed by a Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy, and therefore his case isn’t subject to board review, but both deaths are likely to factor into conversations and negotiations about the board’s powers to oversee Columbus police. The data here shows local law enforcement’s recent history with using fatal force and its disproportionate effect on Black people, as well as how Columbus compares to similar cities. 

Columbus, Ohio, is tied with Jacksonville, Florida, for most law enforcement killings since 2015 among cities of similar size.
Columbus, Ohio, demographics by race
Columbus, Ohio, law enforcement killings by race since 2015

Sources: The Washington Post Fatal Force database, mappingpoliceviolence.org, news reports, police press releases and statistics, and the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 midyear population estimate