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Office of Police Complaints Releases 6th Annual Report on Use of Force by D.C. Police

Thursday, July 6, 2023
Report details use of force incidents by MPD officers and recommendations for improvement

(Washington, DC) – The Office of Police Complaints (OPC), today released its 6th annual Use of Force report to Mayor Muriel Bowser, the Council of the District of Columbia, and Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) interim Chief Ashan Benedict.

In 2022, OPC found a total of 1,044 officers reported using force, which represents a 1% increase from 2021. However, there were 1,034 reported use of force incidents, which reflects a 13% increase from 2021.

OPC also found that 82 officers reported using force five times or more in 2022 and 11 officers reported using force 10 times or more. Over the last two years, uses of force involving one officer was the largest use of force incident category, reflecting 47% of the total incidents in 2022.

Additionally, 10 MPD officers reported intentionally discharging their firearms in nine incidents, seven at people and two at animals. Out of the seven reported, six involved Black males and one a White female. One of the incidents occurred in the First District, two in the Fourth District, one in the Fifth District and three in the Seventh District.

The Third, Sixth and Seventh Districts reported the most use of force incidents in 2022, which together accounted for 59% of all uses of force by MPD officers. These Districts include the Northwest areas of Washington, D.C. as well as the areas east of the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers.

Black community members were the subject of 91% of all reported uses of force in 2022 compared to 4% for White and 5% for Hispanic community members. Males were the subject of 86% of reported uses of force and females were 14%. Also, 59% of the community members that were the subject of reported uses of force in 2022 were between the ages of 18 and 34.

Tactical takedowns and control holds were the most common type of force used, which accounts for 66% of all uses of force. Control holds were the highest level of force used in 23% of uses of force.

As a result of its review and analysis of MPD officers’ use of force, OPC made two new recommendations for 2022. In 2017 and 2018, OPC made eight recommendations, two in 2020 and one in 2021. To date, MPD has fully implemented eight of the recommendations, partially implemented four and not implemented two. The implementation status of OPC’s recommendations by MPD remains the same from 2021.

“Since publishing our first Use of Force report in 2017, OPC’s goal has always been to help the community understand the use of force practices by MPD officers,” said Michael G. Tobin, OPC’s executive director. “Ultimately, we believe a report of this nature will help the community and MPD work together to improve public safety and trust in the police.

To view the full report, visit www.policecomplaints.dc.gov.