In the United States, the perception of truth often means more than truth itself. While the conservative media lies
to blame the Black Lives Matter movement for the tragic shooting deaths of police officers, the mainstream media is rushing to cover what appears
to be a dramatic increase in gun violence against police officers.
Except, this isn't true. Our country is on pace to have fewer officers shot and killed while on duty this year than last year (and almost any year on record for that matter).
Often, people who are sympathetic to police will quote that 83 police have died in the line of duty in 2015. And that is true, but what they aren't telling you is that 13 of those officers had heart attacks or that 19 died in car accidents or that three died because of 9/11-related illnesses.
A total of 26 police officers have been shot and killed in the line of duty this year. Each of those is tragic and a reflection of the violence in our country. This, though, is not some race-based dramatic uptick in police shooting deaths. Forty-seven officers were shot and killed in 2014 and we are on pace to have fewer than that this year. Comparatively, 662 people have been shot and killed by police in America as of September 1 and a total of 792 people have been killed by police altogether this year.
Not only that, but as the media attempts to blame black activists for these deaths, the truth they aren't telling you is that half of all police who've been shot and killed this year were actually African Americans. That, though, is inconvenient for their narrative.
We should be able to have the emotional maturity and intellectual honesty to discuss these issues without misstating or skewing the facts (or outright lying about them). It only makes matters worse.
Not only that, but far more police are dying by suicide than they are at the hands of others.
Police officers are many times more likely to commit suicide than to be killed by a criminal; nine NYC policemen attempted to take their own lives in 2012, alone. Eight succeeded. In 2013, eight NYPD officers attempted suicide, while six succeeded. If police want to protect themselves, a wise move might be to invest in psychiatric counseling, rather than increased firepower.
Again, though, we don't hear these stories because they don't give the conservative media a chance to blame activists and leaders for anything.