A 2014 'Spike' in Fatal Shootings of Police?
However, with numbers this low, big year-to-year swings can happen simply by chance, and 50 is actually below the average since 2004. If anything, last year's low number was the anomaly:
It's also worth noting that there are roughly 800,000 officers in the country. I take the stresses and dangers of policing quite seriously -- my father, now retired, was a state trooper during my childhood -- but it's important to view numbers in their proper context, whether they're about police killed on the job or civilians killed by police.
Robert VerBruggen is editor of RealClearPolicy. Twitter: @RAVerBruggen