The killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile last week brought the issue of police brutality into sharp focus once again. Disturbing cell phone videos showed the nation just how readily cops will execute innocent people.
Sterling was killed in front of a Baton Rouge convenience store while he was selling CDs with the permission of the store owner. He was shot at point blank range by two cops as they pinned him to the ground and held down his arms.
Days later, a video was streamed live on Facebook showing Castile bleeding to death in the passenger seat of a car just after being shot four times by a Minnesota cop. Castile had done nothing more than reach for his wallet after the cop had asked him for identification.
1,208 people were killed by cops in 2015, and 1,111 were killed in 2014—an average of three people a day. That was a 44 percent increase from 2013, where 763 people were killed by cops.
624 people have been killed by cops so far in 2016, putting us on track for another year where more than 1,000 lives will be taken by those sworn to protect and serve.
In America, the odds of being killed by a cop are far greater than in other parts of the world. 14 people were killed by cops in Canada in 2014, and only one person was killed by a cop in the United Kingdom. No one was killed by cops in Germany in 2013-2014.
China, which is known for its heavy-handed state tactics, recorded 12 killings by law enforcement in 2014. This means that law enforcement in the US killed 92 times more people than a country with nearly 1.4 billion people.
If anyone wants to talk about “American exceptionalism,” police killings must surely be near the top of the list.
To put things into further perspective, in America one is more likely to be killed by a cop than several rather scary things—from lightning to venomous snakes to amusement park rides.
Politicians and mainstream media talking heads constantly tell us to be afraid of terrorists, so they can justify the numerous military escapades around the world and build the surveillance/police state at home.
But in fact, you are 53 times more likely to be killed by a cop than a terrorist attack.
Parrish Miller goes on to list nine other things that are less likely to kill you in America than a police officer.
1.You’re 1.8 times more likely to be killed by a cop than by the heat.
2.You’re 20 times more likely to be killed by a cop than by a bee, wasp, or hornet.
3.You’re 24 times more likely to be killed by a cop than by lightning.
4.You’re 41 times more likely to be killed by a cop than by a dog.
5.You’re 53 times more likely to be killed by a cop than by a terrorist attack.
6.You’re 166 times more likely to be killed by a cop than by a spider.
7.You’re 166 times more likely to be killed by a cop than by fireworks.
8.You’re 193 times more likely to be killed by a cop than by a venomous snake.
9.You’re 264 times more likely to be killed by a cop than by an amusement park ride.
10.You’re 387 times more likely to be killed by a cop than by a shark, bear, or alligator.
As we go about our lives in the “land of the free,” remember that uniformed soldiers of the State—enforcing such affronts to freedom as the War on Drugs—are more dangerous than other fears that may occupy our minds.
However, violence is not the answer to this fear. Just remember to always video record police encounters, and remember the fact that you have the 5th Amendment right to remain silent. You do not have to answer questions that cops routinely ask in the attempt to get you to confess to a crime.
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