SPOKANE, Wash. -- A new report commissioned by the Spokane Police Department (SPD) shows that Black or Native Americans are more likely to be considered suspects in a crime, as well as having force used against them.
The report analyzed data from 2017-2020, looking at age, sex, and race in different police response categories. It was conducted by Police Strategies LLC, the company that developed the 'Spokane's Office of the Ombudsman's (OPO) Use of Force' dashboard system. The study was conducted using activity-based benchmarks to gather information, analyzing prior case reports to find correlations in police activity.
The report highlighted multiple areas of focus including, crime suspects, police stops, arrests compared to stops, and use of force in arrests.
Key findings show that Native Americans are 68% more likely to be considered suspects in a crime and a black person is more than three times more likely to be considered a suspect as well. The study also highlights that police are more than 20% more likely to use force against Black people and 49% more likely to use force against Native Americans.
Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl responded to this analysis, saying "we are mindful of those hurts, of those pains, of those feelings those groups have as well and we can't just discount them."
The report did find no racial disparity in police stops and enforcement action as well as no racial disparity in arrests.
"Nobody puts on a uniform wanting anyone in the community to distrust them, and regardless of whether we have the data or not, we know that's still out there so we still have work to do" said Meidl.
The full report is now available on the City website.
It can be found by clicking here.
SPD has also created a document that details information about each data element to assist in understanding the information presented, which can also be found on the City website by clicking here.