In Terms of Cops Getting Killed, 2014 Was (Still)
a Pretty Typical Year
At the end of last year, I took issue with a claim that fatal shootings of police had "spike[d]." Yes, there were more officers fatally shot in 2014 than there had been in 2013 — but this happened because 2013 was an incredibly safe year, not because 2014 was an unusually violent one.
Today, a similar story is circulating based on FBI data about officers "feloniously killed" in the line of duty. Fortunately, while the bureau's press release trumpets an "almost 89 percent" increase, it quickly notes the broader trend as well. In short, it's the same deal: There were 51 such killings in 2014, and only 27 in 2013, but this is what we get when we add these data points to the previous numbers:
It's also worth noting, as I did in my previous post, that there are around 800,000 cops in the country. We shouldn't downplay the risks and stresses of policing, but we also shouldn't mislead with statistics.
Robert VerBruggen is editor of RealClearPolicy. Twitter: @RAVerBruggen