A Brief History
On November 24, 2017, we take a second look at the article we published last year on this date, Cop Shooting Epidemic, Why is it Happening? In just the past few days a Baltimore, Maryland detective was shot in the head and killed while investigating a homicide, and in New Kensington, Pennsylvania an officer was shot and killed while chasing a traffic violator on foot that had run from the traffic stop. Has the epidemic of police being shot and killed continued this year?
In a word, no. We are happy to report a decrease in the number of police officers shot and killed from January 1, 2017 through November 20, 2017 compared to the same period in 2016 (61 cops shot and killed in this time frame in 2016 vs. 41 cops shot and killed in 2017 so far). Hopefully this trend will continue through the end of the year and we will have a better year than 2016.
Of course, police officers of all varieties confront danger in ways other than being shot, and in 2017 (up till November 20) 114 officers have died in the line of duty from all causes (compared to 131 officer that died on duty during the same period of 2016). Being murdered (shot) and dying in a car wreck are tied with 41 fatalities apiece for police officers in 2017, with 32 deaths from other causes.
Meanwhile, an important turn of events has revealed the interference of the Russians with US society, these miserable minions of Vladimir Putin having polluted our social media with inflammatory anti-police propaganda meant to enrage the public against the cops. Just to make sure hard feelings go both ways, the Russians have also falsely portrayed anti-police activists to enrage the police and supporters of the police. The US public is being misled into believing the cops are shooting African Americans for no apparent reason, a misconception eagerly fueled by irresponsible media coverage and opportunity seeking politicians. (In 2016, American police killed 963 people while in 2017 so far police in the US have killed 874 people.)
The rare occasions when police wrongly shoot or kill a suspect are scrutinized quite carefully, and rightfully so. The public has an unrealistic view of police use of force, and only by educating the public with civilian “police academy” type programs and public relations campaigns can the police hope to get the public back on the right side of law enforcement. For some idiotic reason people seem to be offended when a suspect’s criminal past is publicized after the miscreant is shot by the cops, but somehow it is relevant to dig up every complaint ever made against a policeman that shoots someone. (Actually, in both cases the past performance of both the shooter and person shot should be examined, although those past details do not outweigh the facts concerning the shooting.)
The career criminal that shot and killed New Kensington Police Officer Brian Shaw (age 25) on November 17, 2017, was Rahmael Sal Holt, age 29, a creep with criminal arrests for drug charges, both simple and felonious assault, illegally carrying a firearm (at least 3 separate times), resisting arrest, tampering with evidence, disorderly conduct and endangering other people. In 2012 he was sentenced to serve 2 to 4 years in prison, and here he is in 2017, out free and murdering a fine young man. The current mania to reduce prison sentences and largely empty the jails? Not so fast, Bucko! There may be some darn good reasons for keeping someone in prison who consistently carries a gun illegally when he gets convicted of drug crimes.
Question for students (and subscribers): Please feel free to enter the dialogue regarding police use of force, the felonious killing or assaulting of police officers, and the debate over prison sentences, regardless of which sides you take on the issues. Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
Donald, Heather Mac. The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe. Encounter Books, 2017.
The featured image in this article, a photograph by David Geitgey Sierralupe from Eugene, Oregon of a group of Springfield folks who decided to have a march to show their love of cops, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.