The number of “cop killings” continues to rise as more officers are being targeted simply because they are in uniform. With this in mind, no member of law enforcement can afford to let his or her guard down lest they become the next victim of this senseless violence. According to the latest statistics, there have been 17 officers killed in the line of duty since January 1st, 2017 by gunfire and the carnage has not been slowing down.
A Rising Tide
These officers are a part of what appears to be a rising tide of violence that is being focused on those whose job it is to “Serve and Protect.” In part, this is due to efforts around the country to “demonize” police officers both by members of the public and sadly by certain elements of the press. Some of the many protest groups around the country are only too happy to rush in and accuse an officer of murder in the event he/she is involved in a shooting.
The press is not much better and seems to be all too happy to jump on the bandwagon. They rush to publish what they believe to be eyewitness reports that indicate the officer is at fault before checking the facts. Often, once video recordings and body cam recordings are viewed, it becomes obvious the officer was not at fault. But, by then it’s too late as the general public has already formed an opinion that is not likely to be changed.
In a recent research study conducted by John Lott Jr. of the Crime Prevention Research Center, it was noted that of the 2,699 fatal police shootings between 2013 and 2015, race played very little role in the killings. White officers were no more likely to shoot African-Americans than any other race, nor was there a significant difference in the number of killings of African-Americans by black or white officers. The same was also noted of whites and Hispanics by officers of any race.
At the same time, it was noted that the use of body cameras by officers had little effect on the number of police shootings. What the report did note, is that the number one deterrent for officer-involved shootings was simply having more officers in the area.
However, the report did go on to say that the use of body cameras does serve a purpose. This is to protect officers from being falsely accused and convicted of crimes. They can also be used to prosecute those who attack officers physically or do things like spraying them with mace or gas them while they are on duty.
While it is virtually impossible to protect our brothers in blue from every form of attack, it is every officer’s duty to become more vigilant than ever before. This includes when they are on duty and conducting routine business and when they are off duty enjoying their everyday lives.