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Police Killed More People In Franklin County Than Anywhere Else In Ohio

Protesters in downtown Columbus on June 1, 2020.
Paige Pfleger
Protesters in downtown Columbus on June 1, 2020.

A new data analysis shows that Franklin County has the highest rate of any Ohio county for deaths at the hands of police.

The rate of police shooting fatalities in Franklin County is 4.81 deaths per 1 million people, higher than the national average of 2.99. Franklin County had the 18th-highest rate of police shooting fatalities out of the country’s most populous 100 counties.

Data from the Ohio Alliance for Innovation in Population Health shows, since 2015, that 38 people have been killed by police in Franklin County, more than anywhere else in Ohio. In comparison, police killed 17 people in Cuyahoga County and 10 in Hamilton County during the same time period.

The report also found racial disparities in the police shootings. While white residents made up the majority of police-related deaths, African American residents were killed at a per-capita rate more than three times higher than white residents – 6.96 deaths per 100,000 Black residents, versus 1.59 deaths per 100,000 white residents.

One-third of the Black Ohioans killed by police live in Franklin County, even though only a fifth of Ohio's Black residents live here. Meanwhile, 16% of Black residents killed by police lived in Cuyahoga County, which is home to 25% of the state’s Black population.

The study analyzes six years of data put together by The Washington Post from 2015-2020, which found a total of 169 deaths attributed to police in Ohio.

Adora Namigadde was a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. She joined WOSU News in February 2017. A Michigan native, she graduated from Wayne State University with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in French.