‘War on Cops” Narrative Proven False by Police Support Group
Police support group, National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (“NLEOM”), invalidated police brutality apologists mantra of, “war on cops,” which is generally used to justify police violence. Earlier today NLEOM released their preliminary fatality report for 2015. Their research concluded that police officers killed in the line of duty DROPPED 14% since 2014.
Their records indicate a total of 124 officers died while on duty this year, but over half of those were not the result of attack or crime. 52 died in auto accidents, while another 30 died from non-violent causes including job-related illnesses and rescue efforts. There is not much debate whether the profession of law enforcement is dangerous. But the oft-repeated rhetoric claiming that citizens are violently targeting police as a result of protestors does not comport with fatality statistics. Considering in 2015 the police death toll is below 100, while every reputable source lists a minimum of 1,1000 citizens killed by police, a valid question arises: Should it be ‘War on Cops’ or is ‘War By Cops’ more accurate?
Based on the numbers, if a war existed, the war is being waged against citizens by the state through local police. Our federal government has neglected to track police violence; thus, no federal database exists to track deaths caused by police action. However, the three sources cited here, Think Progress, Mapping Police Violence via Join Campaign Zero, and The Counted via The Guardian, all have a range from 1,126 to 1,186 total citizens killed by police.
Research gathered by The Counted, indicates police killed 1,126 people in 2015. The Counted has undertaken the daunting and unending task of tracking police violence in 2015. In their own words, “The Counted is a project by the Guardian – and you – working to count the number of people killed by police and other law enforcement agencies in the United States throughout 2015, to monitor their demographics and to tell the stories of how they died.”
Mapping Police Violence is an additional organization providing a database for tracking citizen death caused by the state government through its local police departments. We learn from Mapping Police Violence that as of December 15, police killed a total of 1,152 people. Their research largely compiled by data analyst, Samuel Sinyangwe and other Join Campaign Zero staff was, in their words, “meticulously sourced from the three largest, most comprehensive and impartial crowdsourced databases on police killings in the country: FatalEncounters.org, the U.S. Police Shootings Database and KilledbyPolice.net.”
Data accumulated by Dylan Petrohilos, digital reporter for Think Progress, places police caused death at 1,186 as of December 28.
It seems that politicians with an agenda to garner support through division, have circulated the ‘War on Cops’ propaganda. Deep divisions exist in the U.S. Two starkly contrasting groups have emerged since the killing of black Ferguson, Missouri teenager, Michael Brown. On one side, there are citizens who recognize and accept the statistics listed above and advocate for criminal justice reform in order to eliminate the abundance of police violence. On the other, large factions of society believe that police are virtually infallible and justified in using whatever force officers deem appropriate.
Whether you believe criminal justice reform is an absolute necessity or you believe police use of force should be unquestioned, research makes one fact very clear: There is no “War on Cops’