Sep 9, 2021 - Politics & Policy

DOJ agrees to review Columbus police after fatal shootings

The Justice Department seal is seen on the lectern during a Hate Crimes Subcommittee summit on June 29, 2017.

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Justice Department has agreed to review the practices of the Columbus, Ohio, police department following several fatal shootings of Black people in the city, Mayor Andrew Ginther announced Thursday.

Why it matters: The nature of the review differs from that of the "pattern or practice" probes the department has undertaken in Phoenix and Minneapolis. Those typically end with a civil lawsuit by the DOJ to compel departments to change their practices.

  • Columbus' review will be conducted by the DOJ's Community Oriented Policing Services Office, which is responsible for advancing community policing nationwide.

The big picture: The request from the comes after several fatal shootings by police officers in the city, including the deaths of Andre Hill in December and Ma'Khia Bryant in April.

  • Chief of Police Elaine Bryant said the review will include policy reviews and evaluations, officer leadership training, recruitment, technology and establishing an early intervention system for officers.

What they're saying: “This is an important day for the future of policing in Columbus,” Ginther said in a statement.

  • “This is not about one particular officer, policy or incident; rather, this is about reforming the entire institution of policing in Columbus," Ginther added. "I am confident in the partnership and the additional tools the DOJ’s COPS Office will bring to our city.”
Go deeper