Report Shows Decline, Racial Divide Among DC Officers Using Force

DC Police Department officers used force fewer times in 2021, but there was a strong racial divide among the subjects involved, according to a new report.

DC Police Department officers used force fewer times in 2021, but there was a strong racial divide among the subjects involved, according to a new report.

The report from the district’s Independent Police Complaints Board showed 1,042 officers used force last year, a 5% decrease from 2020.



“Members of the black community accounted for 92% of the total number of subjects the MPD reported using force against in 2021,” according to the report. “Members of the white community represented 4% of the total number of subjects in 2021 and members of the Hispanic community represented 4%.”

Tactical takedowns and takeovers were the most common types of force, accounting for 63% of cases.

Firearms pointed at subjects accounted for 22% of cases and 9% of cases involved officers using pepper spray.

According to the report, “24% of the use of force involved subjects who were allegedly armed with some type of weapon” and “17% of the use of force involved subjects who were allegedly armed with a firearm. “.

The subjects in 30% of the incidents were reportedly under the influence of alcohol or drugs or showed signs of mental illness.

Police officers fired their weapons at subjects in 20 use of force cases, resulting in the deaths of five people.

One of the shootings took place in the First District, one in the Second District, three in the Third District, five in the Fourth District, three in the Fifth District, three in the Sixth District, three in the Seventh District, and one in Virginia.

“The goal of producing a report of this magnitude continues to be transparency and to build public confidence in the MPD,” said Michael Tobin, executive director of the Police Complaints Bureau.

“We also want to make sure the community understands all aspects of the police department’s use of force and not just the ones they hear about.”

Similar to 2020, the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Districts reported the highest number of use-of-force incidents in 2021, which together accounted for 59% of all use-of-force cases.

These include the northeast, southeast, and southwest areas of the city, as well as areas east of the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers.

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