The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund has found that shooting deaths of law enforcement has risen to 78% in 2016 from 2015. The majority of those officers died in “ambush-style killings.”
The report runs from January to July 20 and compares the stats from the same time period last year, which means it includes the Dallas and Baton Rouge officer assassinations. Those killers stated they wanted to kill white cops due to recent killings of black people from cops. Another study showed, though, that police violence against citizens remains unbiased.
The memorial fund found that 67 officers “have died in the line of duty so far in 2016.” They reported:
Of the 32 firearms-related cases, 14 were the result of an ambush-style attack carried out upon unsuspecting officers, compared to three in the same period in 2015. Seven of the cases involved officers stopping a suspicious person. Five officers were killed while executing tactical arrests or high-risk warrants. Four officers were killed while attempting to arrest suspects and two officers were killed while handling or transporting prisoners.
Texas has lost 14 officers, leading the nation. The figure includes the five officers assassinated by a sniper in Dallas. Louisiana has lost seven, including the three assassinated in Baton Rouge. That number puts them in second.
The researchers said overall the numbers of officer fatalities is still lower than other decades:
Despite the recent high-profile shootings of police, the average number of officers shot and killed on the job is significantly lower than in previous decades. [Organization head Craig W.] Floyd said during the 1970s, there was an average of 127 officers shot and killed yearly; during the last ten years through 2015, the average number shot and killed is 52. He cited the reduction in violent crime in recent decades and said officers have benefited from the widespread introduction of body armor and improved trauma care if they do get shot.
But he noted a worrying increase in recent years in anti-police and anti-government sentiment.
That’s where this next study comes into play. The media latches onto any story about white cops killing black people. The Black Lives Matters movement grew out of these stories and the men who slaughtered the cops in Dallas and Baton Rouge used those killings as their motive.
But the journal Injury Prevention found that violence by cops remains unbiased. Ted Miller, the principal research scientist at the Pacific Institute for Research, and his team decided to use results from the 2012 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project along with “the U.S. Vital Statistics Mortality Census, the 2011 Police Public Contact Survey, FBI reports on stop-and-search procedures, traffic stop arrest reports in states that did not report their arrests to the FBI, and newspaper reports” for their study. They found:
US police killed or injured an estimated 55 400 people in 2012 (95% CI 47 050 to 63 740 for cases coded as police involved). Blacks, Native Americans and Hispanics had higher stop/arrest rates per 10 000 population than white non-Hispanics and Asians. On average, an estimated 1 in 291 stops/arrests resulted in hospital-treated injury or death of a suspect or bystander. Ratios of admitted and fatal injury due to legal police intervention per 10 000 stops/arrests did not differ significantly between racial/ethnic groups. Ratios rose with age, and were higher for men than women.
Overall, in order to find the correct data, researchers need to expand beyond traffic stops:
“The benchmark of using stops is an unreasonably conservative test of bias,” said Phillip Goff, associate professor of social psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and president of the Center for Policing Equity. “That’s because if that bias does exist, you’re more likely to stop and arrest someone who is not white. If you want to measure bias, you can’t use a benchmark that in itself is biased.”
While people praised that the group used medical stats, they say it still isn’t perfect. David Klinger, a professor criminology and criminal justice at the University of Missouri-St.Louis, said he cannot tell how many people received injuries from resisting arrest:
“I don’t know about the validity of that data.”
Klinger also added that the data didn’t include injuries from police dog bites.
“That would be interesting to track that, because there is some research from a number of years ago that reported black suspects were much more likely to be bitten by police dogs,” Klinger said. “There may be some racial effect that is not being uncovered because they don’t have the dog bites.”
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.