The “War on Cops” That Wasn’t. And Still Isn’t.
You might remember that about this time last year, media outlets, police groups, even Attorney General Eric Holder were up in arms over an alleged “war on cops” taking place all across the fruited plains. In April of last year, on-the-job officer deaths were up 20 percent from the same point in 2010. The media went nuts, pointing an accusatory finger at anti-government rhetoric, a “don’t tread on me” mentality, anti-cop Internet sites, and gun ownership.
But some wise folks (ahem) didn’t buy into the hype. On-the-job cop deaths had been falling for 20 years. Those numbers couldn’t keep dropping forever. And the claims of some sort of surge in violent anti-cop, anti-government anger were belied by the fact that non-fatal assaults on police officers were also dropping.
In retrospect, those of us who were skeptical of the hysterical headlines look to have been correct. While January and February of last year saw a few unusual mass shootings of multiple police officers, those months appear to have been anomalies. Police deaths in the remaining months of 2011 were mostly on par with prior years.