In 1962, President (John F.) Kennedy signed a proclamation, established by a joint congressional resolution, designating May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day to honor all peace officers who were killed or disabled in the line of duty. The week of May 15 was designated as National Police Week. This year, National Police Week is May 9-15.
The majority of Americans, at all socioeconomic levels, support the police, notwithstanding the continuous video loops of a single act of police misconduct.
Contrary to what tyrannical politicians and their allies in the media claim, there is no concerted effort by the police to persecute or harm Black men or other minorities. Listening to the continuous vitriol toward law enforcement one would think that dozens of unarmed Black men were being killed daily by the police. In fact, about a dozen unarmed Black males are killed each year.
There are approximately 670,000 full-time police officers and about 900,000 total officers in America. There are over 1 million contacts between citizens and police each day. Most folks have no contact with the police. Only 17 percent of the population has at least one contact with police each year. (Obviously, many folks have more than one contact a year with law enforcement).
The Washington Post compiles a database of officer-involved deadly shootings dating back to 2015. It is user-friendly, but the “unarmed” category can be misleading.
In 2020, 1,021 individuals were shot and killed by police. Of those, 243 were Black; all but two were males. There were 458 whites shot and killed by police; 433 were male and 25 were female.
Of the 243 Blacks shot by police, 17 were “unarmed” males and one was an “unarmed” woman.
One of the “unarmed” cases occurred in North Las Vegas on April 23, 2020. Police contacted the subject inside an apartment after a woman told police he had assaulted her. An altercation ensued and the 34-year-old suspect was shot after he put one of the officers in a chokehold.
One doesn’t need a calculator to ascertain that Black men are disproportionately killed by police. However, according to FBI statistics, Blacks commit 36 percent of violent crime, including half of all murders, but comprise 13 percent of the population. Most of the violent crimes are committed by males, so the real statistic is 36 percent of violent crime is committed by 7 percent of the population. From 2005-2014, 40 percent of cop killers were Black, mostly males.
In 2018, more than 7,000 Blacks were homicide victims; more than 90 percent of their attackers were other Blacks.
For decades, politicians have glossed over or ignored the myriad socioeconomic reasons why the crime rates are higher among Black men. There is no war by the police on the Black population. However, in my opinion, there has been a war on cops for some time now, egged on by the likes of Black Lives Matter, antifa and left-wing politicians, including former President (Barack) Obama.
More than 22,000 officers have been slain in the line of duty. In 2019, 89 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty. Accidents claimed 41 officers and 48 officers died as a result of a felonious attack by one or more suspects. Over 56,000 officers were assaulted in the line of duty during 2019.
Despite these statistics, it seems to me some in government want to capitalize on a faux crisis in order to federalize local law enforcement agencies. They will attempt this through such subterfuge disguised as “consent decrees” and “federal oversight” for the big cities and use the power of the purse to entice small agencies.
Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” This month, I am asking all good men and women to remain vigilant and support your local police. Any attempts to federalize local law enforcement should be politically countered immediately via social media and letters to your representatives.
The city of Boulder City is a shining example of how a community supports their police department. It was an honor and a privilege to have served the citizens of Boulder City from 2002-2012.
The opinions expressed above belong solely to the author and do not represent the views of the Boulder City Review. They have been edited solely for grammar, spelling and style, and have not been checked for accuracy of the viewpoints.
Dan Jennings is a 38-year law enforcement veteran. He received the Medal of Valor and Purple Heart for his actions as a deputy sheriff during an armed robbery in 1996. He can be reached at email@example.com.