by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
At least 10 police officers in five states — mostly in big cities — have been attacked in the last eight days. What’s especially troubling is that several of the incidents appeared to target police officers specifically.
Both criminal justice reform advocates and police unions blame the same thing: a violent crime crisis. Reformers think the violent crime spree is the result of inequality and police brutality. The cops think it’s due to lax prosecutors and spineless politicians.
Whatever the reason, the number of lives lost is rising.
Union leaders quickly attributed the attacks to the rise in anti-police sentiment driven by hysterical rhetoric from Black Lives Matter and politicians. There is little argument that this sort of rhetoric makes policing more dangerous, but does it make attacks more likely?
Reform advocates blame the “overall rise in violent crime.”
“The rise in police being shot by community members is coinciding with the overall rise in violent crime,” said Howard Henderson, the founding director of the Center for Justice Research. The research program at Texas Southern University examines how to make the criminal justice system more equitable.
“Police happen to be some of the victims” in an ongoing “crime wave,” Henderson said.
It must be comforting to be so blind.
In fact, many experts cite the anti-police attitude as a primary cause of the uptick in violence against police. …
… The number of officers killed by a gun increased 36% from 2020, with 62 deaths in 2021. Reform advocates claim the violent crime is being stoked by “inequality”; do they expect us to believe that anti-police rhetoric plays no part?
Until we can come to terms with the constant barrage of hysterical and exaggerated rhetoric causing the increase in violence directed at police, the job of being a cop will only get more dangerous.