Law Enforcement Fatalities in Ohio

Recent police shootings in Columbus have fueled protests and concerns in the civil rights community, but what does a careful analysis of the data tell us about fatal police interventions in Ohio and Franklin County?

Orman Hall
Ohio Statehouse

Figure 1: Ohio Statehouse

The Ohio Alliance for Innovation in Population Health obtained data from the Washington Post police shootings database1 for the U.S. covering the period beginning January 1st, 2015 through December 31st, 2020. The Post database tracks more than a dozen data elements per fatality – including race of decedent, the circumstances of the shooting, whether the person was armed and whether the person was experiencing a mental health crisis.

Our analysis of the Post’s data shows there were 169 Ohio fatalities for an average annual death rate per million population of 2.40, which is lower than the national annual rate of 2.98. At 4.81 deaths per 1 million, Franklin County ranked 18th among the 100 most populous counties in the United States. Cuyahoga and Hamilton ranked 56th and 61st respectively. Our analysis also suggests that police intervention fatalities may be higher in rural areas than in the urban centers.

The following graph shows the average annual fatality rate per 1,000,000 persons for Ohio’s three largest counties (Franklin, Cuyahoga, and Hamilton). Cook County, Illinois, which encompassing Chicago is included for purposes of comparison. Franklin County has the highest rate among the four urban comparison group counties.

Rate per 1,000,000 Police Intervention Fatalities for Franklin, Cuyahoga, Hamilton and Cook Counties, 2015 - 2020

Figure 2: Rate per 1,000,000 Police Intervention Fatalities for Franklin, Cuyahoga, Hamilton and Cook Counties, 2015 - 2020

  1. Retrieved 22 December 2020, from post-is-examining-police-shootings-in-the-united-states/2016/07/07/d9c52238-43ad-11e6- 8856-f26de2537a9d_story.html↩︎


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For attribution, please cite this work as

Hall (2021, Jan. 11). The Alliance Blog: Law Enforcement Fatalities in Ohio. Retrieved from

BibTeX citation

  author = {Hall, Orman},
  title = {The Alliance Blog: Law Enforcement Fatalities in Ohio},
  url = {},
  year = {2021}