We aren’t far into 2017, and already it is clear that police violence is on the rise.
Either emboldened by the new pro-police administration (though let it be stated that no administration has ever been unsupportive of the police), or responding to increased tensions from a riled political climate, 2017 is on track to far surpass the last several years in police shootings and killings.
So far, in just under two months of the new year, 181 individuals have been killed by police, a far greater number than were killed by this time in the past three years.
In 2016, 162 had been killed by this time. In 2015 there were 154 and in 2014, 126. Based on these last few years, there appears to be an upward trend in the number of police-caused fatalities.
Of course, the majority of that upswing was committed in the Obama administration, so blaming this uptick on Trump is a bit unfair. Still, we can’t see how relations might begin to improve under the authoritarian who demonizes Black Lives Matter protests and has suggested that police forces are the real victims of hatred and discrimination.
It is also notable that, while not proportionate, the number of law enforcement being killed on the job is slowly rising as well, with 16 officers killed in the line of duty so far in 2017, three more than were killed this time last year.
With an administration which refuses to address the underlying causes of rising violent deaths at the hands of police, we cannot realistically expect to see these numbers decline, or even addressed.
You can read more about these concerning numbers here.