Police Lobby Publishes Bias Report Calling for Law & Order
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) released a report on the alleged rise of police killings, implying that cops are dying in gun-related violence.
The NLEOMF is a pro-police organization run by Craig Floyd, a lobbyist for law enforcement with a thirty year record of advocacy.
This report states that there has been an 8% up-tick of police officer deaths, when compared to the same time last year; however this study only tracks the last 6 months. In line with Republican talking points, this report cherry picks statistics in order to give legitimacy to the concept that police are in danger because brutality committed by select cops is being recorded and exposed online and through the media.
Professor David Harris, expert on police behavior at the University of Pittsburgh at Pennsylvania (UPP) maintains that “six months isn’t enough data to know if this is the beginning of something awful or an anomaly.”
Harris continues: “These last eight months of police deaths have just been horrifying, and there’s nothing that compares, and nobody should downplay the deaths of those officers. But if the question is the long-term trend, you have to move beyond six months or even a year. If it continues, we should look at policies, it’s just that we can’t tell yet if we’re there.”
These findings are in direct conflict with other studies showing that police deaths caused by shootings have dramatically declined thanks to military style body armor and trigger-happy training.
Other police tracking organizations such as Officer Down Memorial Page show the cause of the rise of police officers deaths is caused by an increase in car accidents during vehicle pursuit of suspects. Their data shows only 39 cops were shot in 2015.
The NLEOMF report highlights “ambush attacks” and focuses on the notion that there is a need for law and order – the same talking point used by Donald Trump.
Using the excuse that “cops are paranoid about ambushes” and pointing to the “fear instilled in cops” because of protests against police brutality, this report pushes the idea that cop killings “are linked to a movement” in order to make Black Lives Matter “seem more threatening”.
David Klinger, former police officer and criminology teacher at the University of Missouri, said: “If people understand why the police are wary, they might be more likely to be less confrontational toward the police. Perhaps officers will be alert to this heightened concern and manage to avoid getting into situations where they use force.”
At the same time, this report ignores the fact that police shootings are difficult to track which is a cause for concern to the public.
Police departments are not obligated to report civilian deaths caused by police officers to federal or oversight agencies.