To hear the media tell it, America is in the grip of an unprecedented crime wave, an orgy of wanton murder in which heavily armed thugs randomly gun down innocent unarmed people, some of them teens, just for sport.
Except that these homicidal goons are wearing the blues and badges of American police departments.
It’s the narrative that’s given rise to the protest movement Black Lives Matter and to a growing public mistrust of the police in general. From Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., to the recent shooting of a middle-aged woman and a teen in Chicago, the body count seemingly keeps rising, exacerbating racial tensions and keeping the nation on edge. And each incident is breathlessly reported by a media determined to show that America remains deeply, irredeemably racist.
Problem is, it’s simply not true.
Last week, the Washington Post published a study of the police shootings that took place in 2015. Likely they intended the story to be shocking — as on Dec. 24, 965 people were killed by police! Instead, the report quells the notion that trigger-happy cops are out hunting for civilian victims, especially African-Americans. Among its key findings:
- White cops shooting unarmed black men accounted for less than 4 percent of fatal police shootings.
- In three-quarters of the incidents, cops were either under attack themselves or defending civilians. In other words, doing their jobs.
- The majority of those killed were brandishing weapons, suicidal or mentally troubled or bolted when ordered to surrender.
- Nearly a third of police shootings resulted from car chases that began with a minor traffic stop.
The moral of this story is: Don’t point a gun at the cops and don’t run when they tell you stop, and you’re likely to survive.
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