Conservatives believe that there is a war underway on America’s police officers. The architect of these officers’ suffering is none other than President Barack Obama, in their view. It’s part of a narrative that these pundits want to put forward that police are dying in higher numbers because Obama has not, as they report it, taken a strong enough stance against those committing acts of violence toward these officers.
Unfortunately for their convenient narrative, the numbers do not support their conclusion. In fact, officer killings are dramatically down under the Obama administration. According to the statistics provided by the Officer Down Memorial Page, there have been far, far fewer homicidal deaths of officers under President Obama than under President Bush.
According to the Huffington Post:
For the first six years of Bush’s presidency (2001-2006), the total number of cops intentionally murdered was 426. This doesn’t count 911-related deaths, which would obviously skew Bush’s number higher. During the first six years of Obama’s presidency, the total number of cops intentionally murdered was 382. That’s a 10 percent drop.
In the seventh year of Bush’s presidency, there were 77 cop killings, by our definition. So far this year, Obama’s seventh in office, there have been 35. Statistically speaking, we’re on pace for a total of 52 in 2015, which would be the lowest total in this century.
But those statistics and facts won’t slow down a conservative narrative that cop killings are out of control in the United States. It’s too difficult to wrestle with the idea that unrest in urban and distressed communities isn’t the result of tough policing on communities in need of a firm hand. Instead, these GOP-minds just conjure up a boogeyman: Obama has created a culture that is permissive, even encouraging of killing cops.
It’s total nonsense, but conservatives eat it up.