Another Round in the Police Shooting Stats Game
Digging deeper into the numbers on police shootings reveals more than the Left would have you believe.
The Washington Post recently released its study of police shootings in 2017. The numbers are startling on the surface, and to the casual observer seem to correlate with the media’s narrative that police officers are abusing their power at the expense of minorities and acting with aggression toward innocent suspects. Yet further analysis indicates that what we’ve been told about rampant racism and abusive tactics in police departments isn’t an accurate representation of what’s really happening on our nation’s streets.
What’s interesting about the Post’s study (and others) is that the conclusion they draw from the numbers invariably leads to a mention of the 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown. The Brown incident is one of the more misunderstood and falsely reported events of our time. Millions of Americans still believe that Brown was a defenseless young man who cried out “hands up, don’t shoot” only to be gunned down in cold blood by a heartless, racist police officer.
The entire Black Lives Matter movement is built on this lie.
So why do members of the mainstream media always mention Brown when they’re analyzing data on police shootings? Because they have no interest in either finding or reporting the truth. They’re confident that most people will simply glance at a headline rather than look at the data themselves.
Another important part of the Left’s dezinformatsiya campaign is the spreading of the unfounded allegation that unarmed black men are being gunned down by officers at an alarming rate. Again, the goal is to avoid focusing on the real issue and instead to paint a picture with the broad brush of racism.
As Jazz Shaw writes, “First of all, the number of ‘unarmed black suspects’ (which seems to be their favorite figure) is 19. What they leave out is that it pales in comparison to the 49 unarmed white males that were similarly killed. On a per capita rate that’s still a higher figure for black suspects based on the percentage of the population, but that’s been the case for as long as they’ve been keeping modern records.” That’s because blacks commit crime at a higher rate, thus leading to more encounters with police.
Let’s move away from the question about racial bias for just a second (something the Left rarely does). Another flawed conclusion is that police officers are shooting defenseless, unarmed suspects. Again, the facts prove otherwise. Of the 987 lethal-force encounters, 919 included a suspect who was armed. What can we take away from this? It’s not that officers are engaging in Wild West tactics, but that officers are placed in dangerous situations in which they need to protect themselves.
While the media spin facts to fit their agenda all the time, the big difference in this case is that the lives, jobs and reputations of our law enforcement professionals are on the line. Not only are police officers being blamed for racism and brutality while carrying out their duty to serve and protect; they’re also being scapegoated by shameless politicians in major cities across the country.
According to a Pew Research Center poll, 76% of police officers are more reluctant to use force even when the situation is warranted, and 72% replied that they were less likely to stop a suspicious suspect. Over 90% of those surveyed said they and their fellow officers are now more worried about their own safety. As a result, violent criminals are running our streets and police officers are fearful of doing their jobs. That’s why the media spin is so dangerous and why their agenda is having a detrimental impact on our communities.
Many officers are damned if they do, and damned if they don’t. For example, people in the beleaguered city of Baltimore blame officers for being too aggressive and discriminatory toward minorities. And police there are also being blamed for not being present in these crime-riddled communities.
One might assume that police are safe from criticism as long as they’re going “by the book,” but even this approach is now being targeted by black writer and activist Ben Faulding, among others. A store clerk who suspected Faulding of shoplifting and carrying a weapon called 911. When police arrived on the scene, Faulding claims that he didn’t hear police tell him to put his hands forward and get down on the ground because he was wearing noise-canceling headphones.
Faulding opines, “Each time I replay the events in my mind, I think of another seemingly innocent detail that, if it changed just a little bit, could have resulted in my death. And if that had happened, I doubt anyone would have been held accountable. Yeah, I have my problems with the way everyone involved handled the situation, but I also have a problem with ‘by the book.’ Even if police followed it to the letter, I still could have been killed.”
Faulding’s situation was unfortunate, but it was an exception to the rule. Do police really have to put their safety aside and make sure suspects can hear them first before they can assess whether to prepare for self-defense? Is “by the book” now considered an aggressive police tactic?
It’s obvious where this is heading.
The deck is stacked against America’s police officers, and it’s all part of an agenda to portray them as aggressors incapable of doing their jobs with restraint or racial objectivity. The Left has no interest in addressing this issue in an objective manner, and they have no sincere desire to reduce the number of police shootings that they claim to care so much about.
Police officers are just like the rest of us, with bad apples in every bunch. But to broadly brush them in such a manner is to demonize them all.
The Left’s attack on our nation’s police prevents them from protecting and defending us, places their lives at risk, and perversely empowers the criminals with “victim” status. Enough is enough.