Newsflash: The “War on Cops” narrative is false.
The rhetoric being pushed by 2016 Republican hopefuls, Fox News pundits and police commissioners actually has no factual basis. Data from the American Enterprise Institute shows that in 2015, there have been 35 felonious police officer deaths. This year will be the second lowest number of murdered cops in decades.
The Washington Post’s Radley Balko argues that this type of fear-mongering dehumanizes police officers, placing them into a state of mind that’s trigger happy and constantly fearing for their lives.
"When cops are constantly told that they’re under constant fire, or that every interaction with a citizen could be their last, or that they’re fortunate each time they come home from the job in one piece, it’s absolute poison for police-community relations."
"That kind of reminder on a regular basis would put anyone on edge. We’re putting police officers in a perpetually combative mindset that psychologically isolates them from the communities they serve,” he writes.
According to research conducted by Seth Stoughton at the University of South Carolina's School of Law, assaults against police officers are also on the decline.
Daniel Bier, an editor at the Foundation for Economic Education, writes that there are more police out on the streets and less crime and and that they're facing less violent threats while on duty.
"The reality is that there are more police than ever, and they are safer than ever, in almost every way we can measure. There is less crime and violence for them to combat, and commensurately fewer assaults and injuries suffered by police."
"The unprecedented force and weaponry being displayed by cops today are not justified by the facts about officer safety. It’s time to demilitarize the police and return them to their proper role as members of the community, charged to keep the peace."
As of 11 September, 808 deaths were caused by police officers, the Guardian reports.
Commissioner Bratton and New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association did not return requests for comment.Reuse content