By: Evette Champion
Two NYPD officers were killed in the line of duty. Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were sitting in their police cruiser when a gunman ambushed them. The shooter, who had a long criminal record as well as mental problems, killed his girlfriend earlier that day. The shooter took his own life in a subway station in New York.
This incident ended 2014 with a total of 51 police officers killed while on duty.
Looking at the news headlines from 2015, you’re bombarded with countless stories of police brutality, black lives being snuffed out by the police without any repercussions for their actions; yet, staunch supporters of the police department insist that there is a “war on cops,” and that the criticism of how police handle themselves and treat people who they are supposed to serve and to protect is actually encouraging violence against police officers.
On average, there are approximately 64 police officers that are murdered each year while on duty since 1980. With 51 officers killed while on duty in 2014, it is still below average. In 2013, only 27 were killed. And this year? Would you believe that there were only 34 officers killed by a human while in the line of duty? In fact, it is believed that 2015 is the safest year for police, with 2013 being the exception.
So, that begs the question about who is waging this supposed “war on cops,” because it certainly isn’t the black community, as there have been 72 black deaths by the hands of police—all of whom were unarmed, as reported by Abagond.
According to The Counted, hosted by The Guardian, 1,126 have been people killed by police officers. And as of writing this article, 84 were killed in December alone. You should also keep in mind that these numbers are just the ones on record. What about the lives lost due to negligence like with Eric Garner or Sandra Bland whose death was considered a suicide? And then, what about the deaths that are unrecorded entirely.
So, again I ask… Who is waging this war on cops? Now I’m not saying all cops are bad and the police can’t be trusted… I’m just saying that numbers don’t lie and we need to look at the bigger picture, which is how to keep Americans safe.