Police fatalities are declining, not rising




There is no epidemic of killings of police officers.  As the charts above and the links below indicate, the number of killings is declining.

Of course any death of a police officer in the line of duty is a tragedy, just like the death of a firefighter or any other public servant, and, in addition to being an individual tragedy, the killing of a law enforcement officer is an attack on the fabric of law and justice.

Just as an unjustified killing by a police officer also is an attack on the fabric of law and justice.

But it is not a worsening problem, as certain politicians and commentators claim.


Police Fatalities Much Lower Than Under Reagan, Yet Walker Blames Obama by Jud Lounsbury for Common Dreams.  Source of the top chart.

Data on police officers killed since 1961 by Dan Wang.  Source of the second chart.

Rhetoric vs. Reality, Police Safety Edition by Kevin Drum for Mother Jones.  Source of the third chart.

What we know about attacks on police by Dara Lind for Vox.

Did ‘Ferguson Effect’ Cause Murder Wave?  No.  Is There a Murder Wave?  Unclear by Jim Naureckas for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting.

There Is No Ferguson Effect by Ta-Nehisi Coates for The Atlantic.


blackwhiteThere’s also no epidemic of killings of black people, although, as I wrote, that’s no excuse for not taking unjustified police killings seriously.

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