"Almost all police work is done at the local and state level. There are about 18,000 law enforcement agencies in America — only a dozen or so of which are federal agencies. Criminal justice reform, then, is going to fall almost wholly to cities and states."
Donald Trump proclaimed last week that it was "Police Week" in the United States. As expected, conservatives used the occasion to promote bigoted, anti-black lies about how many officers have been killed and exactly who's killing them. This is a familiar trope among conservatives. Throughout 2016, particularly during campaign season, the "war on police" was regularly cited by conservatives — and the inference was consistently that it was the fault of either the Black Lives Matter Movement, Barack Obama, or somebody black in the Department of Justice.
With Obama out of office and the Department of Justice as white as it's been in generations, conservatives are struggling to find anyone to blame for police brutality so they've just resorted to flat out lying.
Conservative blowhard Stephen Crowder blasted out to his social media followers, "Terrible! Police Officer Deaths Surge in 2017." The dishonest tweet linked to an article on his website. Here's the first two paragraphs:
----Start of quote
In terms of anti-copness and killings of police, 2016 was a tough year to follow (see Police Deaths Up by 1000% in 2016… Surprised? ). Between demanding "pigs in a blanket, fry 'em like bacon" and attacking police themselves, #BLMers found themselves rather active that year. But it looks like 2017 has already got 2016 beat, according to a recent report.
The killings of police have surged 41 percent this year. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund said Monday that 51 police have been killed this year. In 2016 at this time, the number was 36.
------End of quote
Woosah. I'm having to do deep breathing techniques to calm myself down from the sheer volume of bigoted lies and innuendo in those few sentences alone.
First off, the author opines that cop killings have surged 41% this year. This is a misleading lie. While total line-of-duty deaths are up 25% so far this year, the number of cops who’ve been shot and killed has actually dropped year-over-year – from 21 to 18.
Secondly, the article fails to take into account the more than 100 officers who took their own lives last year. You rarely hear conservatives talk about this because they aren't genuinely interested in the mental health of police officers, but just like to use their deaths as political footballs to make themselves look better.
Of the 145 police officers who died in some kind of way other than suicide last year, 56 died in some type of vehicular crash or accident, 10 died of heart attacks, four died of 9/11-related illnesses and two more drowned. In other words, of all the officers who died in the line of duty last year, the majority of them were not shot and killed.
Not only that, but Crowder blames the Black Lives Matter Movement for last year’s rise in police deaths – when in fact, white people have shot and killed more U.S. law enforcement officers than any other ethnic group, including the last three police officers who’ve been shot and killed in this country.
Marshall Barrus, a white man with a history of being very interested in anti-government extremism, is suspected of killing Deputy Sheriff Mason Moore in Montana.
Thomas Hartless, a white man with a history of violent crime, is accused of killing Kirkersville, Ohio Police Chief Steven DiSario. Hartless is also accused of shooting and killing two nursing home employees.
One day before DiSario's death, another white man, James Bowden, of Arkansas, is accused of shooting and killing three people — among them the mother and daughter of his girlfriend and Lieutenant Kevin Mainhart.
In a span of five days, three different white men allegedly shot and killed seven people, three of them police officers — and Donald Trump, Stephen Crowder and virtually every other conservative you can think of remained silent. Those shootings don't fit their narrative of blaming black folks, Muslims and immigrants for all of their problems.
Every single death of a police officer matters. It's a huge deal to ever lose any public servant to gun violence or any other type of violence, but what we have right now are people distorting the on-the-ground conditions for police officers for their own political and personal gain. It's why they tell you that the number of police officers being killed is exploding, but fail to tell you it's due to an increase in car accidents or heart attacks. It's why they randomly focus on Black Lives Matter when white men are doing many of the shootings.
To men like Stephen Crowder, this is not about compassion for lost lives, but about petty politics and website clicks driven by hate. It's ugly, but right now, so is America.
The National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys lobbied against the last major push for criminal-justice reform in Congress. Now their former president is working in the Justice Department.