Area officer-involved shootings since NFL protest began

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Area officer-involved shootings since NFL protest began

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FILE - In this Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, file photo, Buffalo Bills players take a knee during the playing of the national anthem prior to an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos in Orchard Park, N.Y. What began more than a year ago with a lone NFL quarterback protesting police brutality against minorities by kneeling silently during the national anthem before games has grown into a roar with hundreds of players sitting, kneeling, locking arms or remaining in locker rooms, their reasons for demonstrating as varied as their methods. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes, File)

Since former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first kneeled during the National Anthem in August 2016, the national conversation has strayed beyond the original protest topic, which was the shootings of black people by police.

But given the original reason for the protest, the I-Team decided to examine what officer-involved shooting incidents have happened locally since Kaepernick’s first took a knee, and whether there is a racial disparity among those shot.

The I-Team began tracking officer-involved shootings after the 2014 fatal shooting of John Crawford III by Beavercreek police. The database now includes 95 shootings in a multi-county area dating back to 1995, including nine since August 2016.

Nine incidents aren’t enough from which to extrapolate many conclusions, but it does show the percentage of black people shot is less than it had been in previous years. Between August 2016 and the most recent officer-involved shooting on Sept. 4, seven of those shot were white and two were black.

In 2013 and 2014, nine of the 15 people shot by police in the region were black, or more than half.

Also, previous reporting by the I-Team, using 2012 Ohio data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, found blacks in Ohio that year were twice as likely to be killed by police than whites.

Blacks make up about 13 percent of the population in Ohio.

Here is a breakdown of the most recent shootings culled from the newspaper’s database. Of the two black people shot, both were killed. Of the seven white people shot, four were killed.

On Feb. 5, 2017, Shelly Porter, who was black, was shot and killed by an Englewood police officer who approached him while responding to reports of shots fired at a nearby motel. According to a statement from the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office, “a physical fight ensued, Porter pointed his firearm at the officer, who then discharged his duty weapon in self‐defense.” The officer was cleared by a Montgomery County grand jury.

On July 4, 2017, Dana Dubose, who was also black, was shot to death. Police say Dubose stabbed his wife to death in her Hamilton County home and was shot to death by a state trooper in Vandalia a few hours later. Officials say Dubose rammed the trooper’s patrol car with his car and then exited the vehicle and lunged at the trooper with a knife.

Of the white people who died after being shot, one was killed in a shootout, two had guns and a third allegedly confronted a police officer with a knife.

Ashley Sides was shot and killed on Oct. 31, 2016, after she crashed her car after a brief pursuit by the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Police say a shootout followed, in which suspect Conrad Davis fired .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun at officers, hitting one. Brookville police officers fired their weapons, one of them fatally shooting Sides. Davis pleaded guilty to to charges of involuntary manslaughter, felonious assault of a peace officer and felonious assault of a peace officer with a deadly weapon.

Michael Wilson-Salzl was killed April 22, 2017, by Hamilton police. Wilson-Salzl was “mentally disturbed with serious psychiatric conditions with a history of suicidal ideation and attempts,” according to Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser. Authorities say he confronted the officer with a knife in an apparent suicide by cop.

Jacob Faulkner followed on June 20. A Butler County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed him after being dispatched on a report of an active shooter on Jackson Road. Officials say Faulkner pointed a firearm at the deputy.

Jason Hoops was shot and killed August 27 by Kettering police during a traffic stop. A video of the incident shows the officer repeatedly telling Hoops not to reach for a gun before the officer pulled the trigger.

The most recent local incident was the Sept. 4 non-fatal shooting of a newspaper photographer by a New Carlisle police officer who claims he thought the photographer’s camera equipment was a gun. Both the photographer and officer were white.

A 2014 I-Team investigation found police are rarely charged criminally for shooting or killing someone.

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