An uptick in anti-cop rhetoric initiated during the Obama administration has led to a nationwide trend of “de-policing” among departments and individuals officers, according to a new FBI study.
The report, “Assailant Study— Mindsets and Behaviors,” contends that American police officers largely feel “that defiance and hostility displayed by assailants toward law enforcement appears to be the new norm.”
Officers questioned for the report cited the social-justice movement sparked after 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed during a scuffle with a cop in Ferguson, Missouri.
“Nearly every police official interviewed agreed that for the first time, law enforcement not only felt that their national political leaders [publicly] stood against them, but also that the politicians’ words and actions signified that disrespect to law enforcement was acceptable in the aftermath of the Brown shooting,” the study said.
The study goes on to suggest that national anti-police attitudes are creating an uptick in deadly acts of violence committed against police officers on the job.
Of 50 incidents that led to an officer’s death last year, the FBI study concluded that 14 of the assailants responsible had “expressed a desire to kill law enforcement officers prior to their attacks.”
The report concludes that anti-police sentiments have caused many officers to become “scared and demoralized.”
From the report: “One officer explained that ten years ago if a suspect was stopped in a high-risk neighborhood, that person either ran or complied. Now, suspects are refusing to comply with lawful orders believing that law enforcement can’t or won’t do anything about it. Defiance appears to be the rule… Assailants understand that officers are less willing to escalate force, and therefore have become bolder and more brazen in their attempts resist.”
Another interesting portion of the report concludes that criminal justice reform efforts to reduce draconian sentencing requirements for drug offenders mean there are more criminals on the street with a “beat the system” attitude.
What’s troubling about the report, however, is that it makes little mention of how previous policing policies and actions are partially responsible for growing trends in anti-cop attitudes.
In our Power of the State section, you’ll find hundreds of stories detailing instances where police abuse their authority and the rights of U.S. citizens, often with deadly consequences.
Bob Livingston, last week, illustrated nicely how Americans are much more likely to find themselves injured or killed by agents of the state than the other way around.
From his piece:
[W]e need less police power, not more. A study published by JAMA Surgery shows that emergency department visits for people injured by LEOs (legally entitled to oppress) averaged about 51,000 per year from 2006 to 2012.
The study’s authors claim the rate of visits remained steady each year and totaled 355,677 over the period of the study. Of those 355,677 visits, 1,202 resulted in death either at the ED or later while in the hospital. More than 80 percent of those who sought treatment were male, and the average age was 32. Most lived in zip codes with household incomes below the national average, and 81 percent lived in urban areas. Injuries by LEOs were more common in the south and west and less common in the northeast and Midwest.
Most injuries that were treated were minor and resulted from being struck. But about 7 percent of the injuries from LEOs came from gunshots and stab wounds. Substance abuse and/or mental illness was common in those treated. About 20 percent of the people injured suffered from mental illness, lead study author Dr. Elinore Kaufman told Live Science.
Unfortunately, like the FBI failed to in its recent report, lawmakers won’t reflect on these issues when they inevitably begin rolling out bills to make police officers more comfortable on the job. And it makes sense. After all, both members of Congress and the heads of the nation’s policing organizations work in the people-control business.
The FBI’s recent report is little more than a boldfaced effort to get the process of increasing police power as much as possible under Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ law and order Justice Department.