Twenty-four people were fatally shot in confrontations with Columbus police officers from 2004 to 2010, the highest total of any law enforcement agency in Ohio, reports the Columbus Dispatch. A Dispatch analysis of reports compiled by the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services shows that 127 people were killed by police statewide between 2004 and 2010. In every Columbus death, officers were cleared of wrongdoing in both internal and grand-jury reviews.
Ohio’s police “homicide” rate doesn’t seem out of line with national numbers. Nationally, police killed 1,553 people between 2003 and 2006, the latest federal figures available. Ohio, the seventh-largest state, ranked eighth with 66 deaths. California led with 277, followed by Florida with 157, Texas with 153 and Arizona with 114. Columbus Police Sgt. Eric Pilya is in charge of the Critical Incident Response Team that investigates every time an officer fires his or her .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun. “We have a history of making the right calls” in using deadly force in self-defense or to protect the public, he said.