Last week, Donald Trump proclaimed it was “Police Week” in the United States. As expected, conservative supporters of Donald Trump used the week as an opportunity 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.
What I’m about to tell you, I’ve told you before. In May of last year I reported that the number of police officers who had been shot and killed had actually spiked 59% year over year and that 71% of police who had been shot and killed had been shot by white men. When police unions were complaining about Beyonce’s Super Bowl performance, 7 out of 8 officers killed so far at that point had been white men.
What’s wild is that those numbers almost perfectly mirror the percentage of violent terrorist attacks committed by white people in this country after 9/11. According to the conservative Cato Institute, from September 12, 2001 until today, 73% of terrorist attacks have been committed by white, right wing extremist groups, but leading conservative politicians and talking pretty much say and do nothing about this.
Again this past September white men went on a killing spree of police officers and conservatives were silent about it. Then, this past November, three different white men shot six different police officers, and conservatives again remained absolutely silent on the matter. It pretty much appeared that in order for conservatives to care about the deaths of police, the officers had to be shot and killed by a black man. Otherwise…crickets.
Now, 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.
Popular conservative blowhard Stephen Crowder blasted out to his millions of followers across social media, “Terrible! Police Officer Deaths Surge in 2017.” The dishonest tweet linked to an article on his website. Here’s the first paragraph:
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.
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 majority of police officers who die, die by suicide. Again, 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.
Secondly, 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 other cops died of heart attacks. 4 die of 9/11 related illnesses, 3 were shot and killed accidentally in friendly fire incidents, and 2 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, by sentence number two, was already citing the Black Lives Matter Movement for last year’s rise in police deaths when we’ve already firmly established that nobody kills cops more than white men in America. Crowder and his crew never mention that.
Then, the author opines that cop killings have surged 41% this year. This is again a misleading lie. The number of cops who’ve been shot and killed this year in the line of duty has actually dropped year over year. Almost 100% of the increase in cops who’ve died in the line of duty this year has been due to car and motorcycle crashes and 9/11 related illnesses. This has nothing to do with the Black Lives Matter Movement.
In fact, just like last year, when I inspected who was actually shooting and killing cops this year, more white people are still shooting and killing police officers than any other ethnic group – including the last three police officers who’ve been shot and killed in this country.
Deputy Sheriff Mason Moore, of Montana, was shot and killed just last week by Marshall Barrus, a white man with a history of being very interested in anti-government extremism.
Less than two weeks ago, Chief of Police Steven DiSario, of Ohio, was shot and killed by Thomas Hartless – a white man with a history of violent crime. Hartless also shot and killed two nursing home employees. Strange how this man wasn’t featured anywhere on Crowder’s website.
Just the day before Chief of Police Steven DiSario was murdered by Thomas Hartless, another white man, James Bowden, of Arkansas, also shot and killed three people – among them the mother and daughter of his girlfriend and Lieutenant Kevin Mainhart.
In a span of just 5 days this month, three different white men shot and killed seven people, three of them police officers, and Donald Trump, Stephen Crowder, Sean Hannity, and virtually every other conservative you can think of – are all silent. Those shootings don’t fit their narrative of blaming black folks, Muslims, and immigrants for all of their problems.
Of the other officers shot and killed this year, two Native American officers were shot and killed by other Native Americans. A Puerto Rican officer was shot and killed by a Puerto Rican in Puerto Rican. The remaining officers were shot and killed by a mix of white, black, Hispanic, and Asian-American men.
It also appears that Stephen Crowder is counting the death of heroic NYPD Detective Stephen McDonald in his inflated numbers of people killed by police this year, but McDonald was actually shot 31 years ago all the way back in 1986 and just happened to pass away this year after living such a valiant and amazing life. Most leaders in the Black Lives Matter Movement weren’t even born yet when McDonald was shot. President Obama hadn’t even started law school yet and was still a local community organizer in Chicago.
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. It’s why they randomly focus on Black Lives Matter when white men are doing most of the shootings and the few black men who are have absolutely nothing to do with the modern day civil rights movement.
To men like Stephen Crowder, this is not about compassion for lost lives, but about petty politics and clicks on for-profit websites driven by hate. It’s ugly, but right now, so is America.