We Get It: Police Lives Matter

In the wake of the police protests in NYC and the fatal, senseless shooting of two NYPD officers, I’ve noticed the shift in tone of the media: from hearing a protest described as ‘anti-police’ to news stories that remind us about the risks facing officers (because we didn’t know that law enforcement was a dangerous career), the tide is turning. All of this to detract from genuine concerns about police use of force especially against black men. Support of police and critical analysis of their performance can exist in the same world. The accusations from the PBA that the blood of the aforementioned police officers are on the hands of the mayor (because of DeBlasio’s apparent unwillingness to blindly support police), ignores the fact that people are angry because unarmed black males are being killed by those sworn to protect them and perhaps underscores how wide the chasm is between NYPD and civilians. If you’re seeking to find out government (local, state or federal) issued statistics regarding how many civilians are killed by police, the closest thing you’ll find is this, but if you want to know the names of officers killed in the line of duty, you can find a comprehensive list here, going as far back as 1791. The query on the site allows you to search by state, year and cause of death. The site also includes a detail of the incident and allows visitors to leave reflections. If this is possible for officers, then it should be done for citizens. As a matter of fact, Congress through the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, authorized the Attorney General to keep statistics regarding excessive force by police, but just try finding that anywhere online. There is likely understandable concern that such information might inflame tensions between regular people and police, but such knowledge might instead inspire empathy on both sides and that’s when real healing can begin.

Author: k allisse

This journal is my exploration of all things: social, political, faith based, artistic, popular and of course, uselessly random.

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