The Officer Down Memorial Page, which tracks the deaths of police officers, is reporting zero officer deaths from gunfire in 2015.
Line of Duty Deaths: 13
Automobile accident: 5
Heart attack: 3
Struck by vehicle: 2
9/11 related illness: 1
Gunfire (Accidental): 1
Vehicle pursuit: 1
In contrast, Killed By Police has logged at least 91 people killed by police in the month of January alone. At least 1,106 people were killed in 2014, a number which calls into question the integrity of the FBI’s previous estimate of around 400 per year.
Unlike the independent logging done by Killed By Police, the FBI collects their statistics only from reports voluntarily given to them by law enforcement agencies. Only around 750 agencies, or 4 percent, out of 17,000 law enforcement entities across the United States offered this data to the FBI.
Those who prefer to turn a blind eye to police abuse often refer to police as heroes who “deserve to make it home to their families” or speak of the difficulties of a job where your life is perpetually at risk.
Police use these lines often, pushing the stereotype and narrative perpetuated by media of our police living in constant action movies where bad guys and villains are always on the prowl searching for ways to harm them. Any conversation about police by their apologists could easily be a conversation about Batman rather than our revenue generators in blue.
Unfortunately for them, this narrative cannot hold up to simple facts. Being a police officer is significantly less dangerous than many labor jobs, and is not even in the top 10 most dangerous positions in this country.
Our children deserve to make it home to their families. It is no longer acceptable to pretend we live in a comic book universe where masked evil-doers are forever hunting police and that their quick trigger fingers are needed or justified.
Random acts of violence happen, and it is always tragic and wrong- but more officers die in every day traffic accidents than by any other means. If we really care about officer safety, perhaps we should disarm the police and give them bicycles instead.