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CPD Use Of Force Incidents Decline But Racial Disparities Remain Steady

Bill Rinehart
A Cincinnati Police vehicle at the 1200 block of Walnut, during a shooting investigation in June 2021.

Black Cincinnatians are disproportionately the subjects of police use of force, according to a new report from a national civil rights coalition. The analysis also shows overall incidents of use of force declined from 2017 to 2019.

The report comes from The Leadership Conference, a national civil and human rights coalition.

They say CPD data shows 73% of use of force incidents in 2019 were enacted against Black people, despite that population being only 42% of the city. The report shows the racial disparity remained steady in those three years: 73% in 2017, and 74% in 2018. 

White residents are close to 51% of the city's population and were 26% of CPD use of force incidents in 2019.

The overall number of use of force incidents went down 23%  — from 413 in 2017, to 320 in 2019.

The city manager's office responded with a statement from Chief of Staff Kelly Carr: "Cincinnati’s use of force incidents are on a three-year decline and are documented as some of the lowest numbers in the country because the city remains committed to continuous improvement in bias-free policing, the improvement of community-police relations, and to building a more fair and equitable public safety system."

The report includes dozens of categories as use of force, ranging from physical restraints like handcuffing, to an officer pointing or firing a gun or Taser.

The initiative has published data for 13 cities in 11 states and is working to add more police departments to the list.