Unoccupied Daytona Beach patrol car parked outside local Islamic Center after Molotov cocktail firebombing. (Photo Credit: Daytona Beach Police Department.)
Writing in the Washington Post thirteen months ago, Radley Balko assured his readers that, contrary to widespread belief, there was no “war on cops.” He cited aRasmussen poll taken the week before that found 58 percent of respondents believed there was indeed such a war while just 27 percent did not. Public opinion was at odds with the truth, Balko wrote, and he had the data to support his position: FBI statistics showed that officer deaths from gunfire and non-fatal assaults on police had been declining for years. Balko wrote that 2015 was “shaping up to be the second safest year for police ever, after 2013.”
It’s good to be reminded when the actual statistics run counter to public perception. Police work is after all concerned with seeking the truth, and law enforcement is not served when hysteria is fomented by misleading information. That said, what would Balko say about this year? Has the war whose existence he denied last year now begun?