As a manhunt continues for the killers of an Illinois police officer, certain media outlets are using it to contrive disinformation in the faux political debate of MSM. Yesterday, Fox News stated “a rise in shootings of law enforcement officers” when reporting on the manhunt.
“War on police” is the new slogan, and no rhetoric is more theatrical than that of Sheriff David Clarke, who is making regular appearances on the infotainment channel. Fox News' token friend is suggesting there is an epidemic of police killings spurred by Obama’s war on police.
“I am too pissed off tonight to be diplomatic with what’s going on, and I’m not going to stick my head in the sand about it. I said last December, war had been declared on the American police officer led by some high-profile people, one of them coming out of the White House, and one coming out of the United State Department of Justice. And it’s open season right now.”
This is the same person who said “if there is anything that needs to be straightened out in this country, it is the subculture that has risen out of the underclass in the American ghetto.”
Clarke fails to mention that the government’s War on Drugs bears a large responsibility for creating and perpetuating the American ghetto.
After the McKinney, TX pool party savagery of Officer Eric Casebolt, Bill O’Reilly tried to pass blame to the victims, saying that some news outlets are “hammering American police agencies over and over again. Rioting and looting are big stories, and all the carnage is now filtering down to young Americans, influencing how some of them interact with police.”
O’Reilly must have missed the constant reports of unarmed people being murdered by police with no provocation, which just maybe had something to do with the “big stories…filtering down to young Americans.”
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Notwithstanding Clarke’s ignorance of the drug war’s effects and O’Reilly’s approval of police brutality, there is a much more significant fact they should consider before proceeding with the show.
Police killings have decreased over the past three decades, and 2015 is on track to be lower than last year and lower than the current decadal average.
“Firearms-related fatalities among law enforcement officers have decreased each decade since the 1970s, according to the memorial fund’s data. In the 1970s, an average of 127 officers were killed with guns annually. That dropped to an average of 87 officers a year in the 1980s. Last year, firearms deaths rose from 32 officers in 2013 to 50 in 2014 – a 56 percent increase, but still below this decade’s average of 53 officers a year.” - Center for Investigative Reporting
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund tracks this data, and 2015 is looking to be a relatively safe year for cops in the multi-year context. As of September 1st, there were 25 firearms-related fatalities among law enforcement officers (2 were killed by accidental discharge of their firearms).
Contrast this with the 161 unarmed civilians killed so far this year by police, according to The Guardian’s data. As far as we know, a total of 779 people have been killed by US police to date, although some of these were likely justified self-defense.
Interestingly, the highest number of police killed in the line of duty - 300 - occurred in 1930 at the height of prohibition. Also, police fatalities ramped up to 200 the same year that Nixon declared the War on Drugs.
Without a doubt, any unprovoked murder of another human being is an atrocious act. Police and citizens alike have the right and the duty to live and let live. Murdering police officers is the absolute wrong way to achieve anything.
At the same time, we cannot allow mainstream media talking heads to divert us from truth in the struggle for freedom. There is no “war on police,” and there is no rise in police killings if you look past two weeks.
There is, however, a collective realization of the brutality of the American police state. There is peaceful opposition to the rampant militarization of law enforcement. There is awareness of the burgeoning surveillance state.
Those few who carry out murder on police, dwindling with each passing decade, do not represent the growing mass of peaceful protesters armed with information and a passion for freedom.