Cops. Can’t live with ‘em, too screwed up, twisted and scared to live without ‘em. That’s the United States, and we’re anything but united on virtually every subject out there, including law enforcement.
While some worry the overt militarization of “peace” officers has led the country into a seeming pandemic of police brutality, others, sometimes known as “badge lickers,” side with bloodthirsty cops as automatically as parroting support for our troops. They’ll tie a ribbon to any damn thing in order to show their support to God and country, and somehow that includes honorary support for the troops, police officers and fire fighters, too.
Folks even argue over whether the violent discord between police officers and community members is the fault of the community or the police officers. Who is killed by the other more often? Do police kill more civilians, or do civilians kill more police? What socio-economic and cultural factors may be at play in deaths against either group by the other?
Well, the folks over at digg have a couple of graphics from Vocativ that will help you visualize the reality of citizen/cop murders versus cop/citizen murders in 17 months’ time, from Jan. 1, 2014 – May 12, 2015.
Below shows the murders of police officers in that time, amounting to 102:
Now, compare that to the murders of civilians by police in that same timeframe and the reason we have had demonstrations, marches, protests and riots in the streets all over the country, and indeed all over the world, since last August becomes pretty clear. See for yourself. All 1,500 are below:
See the difference?
The deaths of police officers will never take a permanent, significant step down until the deaths of civilians by police diminishes significantly. In order to do that, America will have to be willing to honestly examine some pretty enormous subjects, such as systemic racism, in order to earnestly address the cultural issues that have led to a class society with a rigged economic structure designed to keep certain groups of people down. From there, we can begin to reshape society into a more egalitarian existence that might free us up from such blatant, regular use of violence against citizens by the police. With a greater sense of justice and equality amongst us all, perhaps we will not kill each other in the streets so much. Perhaps less fear will abound and the police will give us more than a second’s notice before they shoot us dead.
And without that constant sense of harassment by police officers, without seeing headlines in the news every few weeks about another unarmed citizen gunned down over an extremely minor crime, the police will eventually be gunned down less often, themselves.
Hey, one can dream, right?
Featured image: via cdn.meme.am