Police killings spike 78% compared to last year
A new report released by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund shows an alarming increase in the number of shooting deaths of police compared to the same period last year.
The report also shows a big increase in ambush-style attacks on police.
Shooting deaths of law enforcement officers spiked 78 percent in the first half of 2016 compared to last year, including an alarming increase in ambush-style assaults like the ones that killed eight officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, according to a report released Wednesday.
However, data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund shows that firearms-related deaths of officers in the line of duty are still lower than they were during previous decades like the 1970s.
Thirty-two officers died in firearms-related incidents so far this year including 14 that were ambush-style attacks, according to the report. During the same period last year, 18 officers were shot and killed in the line of duty including three that were considered ambush attacks.
"That's a very alarming, shocking increase in the number of officers who are being literally assassinated because of the uniform they wear and the job that they do," said Craig W. Floyd, who heads the organization.
The organization usually releases a mid-year report tracking incidents for the first six months but decided to extend the period due to the July attacks in Dallas and Baton Rouge against police officers. So the report goes from the beginning of January to July 20 and compares it to the same period last year. On their website, the organization also keeps a running tally of officers who died in the line of duty. Those figures through July 26 show that 33 officers have been shot and killed so far this year.
The report comes at a time of heightened tension between communities across the country and police officers. Two police officers and one sheriff's deputy were shot and killed during an ambush on July 17 in Baton Rouge by a black gunman who was later killed by responding officers. In Dallas, a black gunman opened fire on police during a July 7 protest against recent police shootings of black suspects; the gunman killed five officers before being killed by authorities.
The blame for this can be placed squarely on activists for Black Lives Matter who have accused police of deliberately targeting blacks for death. The cops are referred to as "terrorists." I don't see how one can avoid the conclusion that this kind of incitement leads directly to violence against police.
When you tell black people that the cops are out to kill you, it elicits the kind of reaction we've seen from Minneapolis to Baton Rouge; black men resisting arrest who are subsequently killed by police. How else are they supposed to respond when they've been propagandized to believe their lives are in danger because cops hate blacks and want them dead?
Whether the shootings are justified or not, the rhetoric of Black Lives Matter is toxic to the relationship between police and the communities they serve.