The Corner

Dallas Aftermath: It’s Time to Address the Sharp Increase in Attacks on Police

In response to Doesn’t Look

Following up on Jim’s post, consider these grim statistics:

The number of police officers shot and killed in the USA is 44% higher than at this time last year following the Dallas ambush Thursday night that left five officers dead, according to data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

The deaths of four Dallas police officers and one Dallas transit officer from sniper fire during a protest in the city Thursday raised the national total of firearm deaths among police to 26. This compares with 18 at this point in time in 2015, said Nick Breul, director of research for the fund in Washington, D.C.


Breul said it was also the latest of 11 ambushes of police officers so far this year across the country, already outpacing the eight ambushes of law enforcement that occurred last year.

The pace of killings is still well below the ten-year high, but as with many other crime statistics in 2016, the trend is bad. A person can believe that the responsibility for criminal acts rests with the criminal and his co-conspirators while also believing that constant demonization of police can encourage those criminals to commit their wrongful acts. When protesters chant for cops to die, no one should be shocked when someone decides to answer their call. 

As Kevin noted earlier today, some who were most prone to blame the rhetorical “climate” for the actions of murderers like Jared Lee Loughner are even now demanding that the public draw no sweeping conclusions from the shooting in Dallas. I don’t blame vicious chants or Twitter threats for murder, but I do think it’s time for climate change. We can’t keep rejecting the norms of civil society and expect civil society to long endure. 

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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