In Re Domestic Terrorism: 39 Cops Killed by Civilians, 316* Civilians Killed by Cops in 2013

not guiltyimgurThe killing of two police officers and a third person by a couple in Las Vegas has led to renewed interest in demonizing right-wing ideologies based on the actions of isolated extremists. It’s also being used as evidence in favor of extending the “war on terror” to the domestic front, even though the paucity of both domestic and Islamist terrorism in the U.S. would suggest both can safely be treated as law enforcement issues.

As different special interest groups throw out different numbers to push the narrative of an increasingly dangerous America that needs increasingly militarized law enforcement to protect it, here are two numbers to keep in mind:

316. According to this Wikipedia entry, that’s how many civilians were killed by law enforcement in 2013. The list includes a significant number of bona fide criminals. Nevertheless, neither the FBI, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, nor any other federal agency track what ought to be an essential number in gauging the state of law enforcement in the U.S. in any given year, so the crowd sourced list on Wikipedia is the most comprehensive one you’ll find of law enforcement casualties.

39. This is the number of cops killed in the line of duty by a civilian, be it by gunfire (30), stabbings (2), or vehicular homicide (7). This represents a bit more than a third of the 105 law enforcement officials who died in the line of duty, according to the Officer Down Memorial, which counts officers who died in accidents such as electrocution or from heart attacks as “officers killed.”

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  • Gene||

    Here's hoping one day they can kill us at a 100-1 clip compared to today's shameful 10-1.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    According to this Wikipedia entry, that’s how many civilians were killed by law enforcement in 2013. The list includes a significant number of bona fide criminals.

    Whether one is a "bona fide" criminal or not does not automatically make their life forfeit and open to summary execution by cop. A suspect shouldn't be killed simply because his or her capture is inconvenient.

    A cop should have the right to defend themselves with lethal force in the same circumstances as anyone else: in the face of an imminent threat to their life.

  • sarcasmic||

    Cops tend to lie and exaggerate as a matter of routine. They embellish their reports and testimonies because it gets more convictions than the truth.

    The problem is that to those of us who are aware of this fact find it difficult to believe them at all. Though they might be telling the truth.

  • Grand Moff Serious Man||

    Clearly this War on Cops necessitates we give police mobile armor suits and even more leeway in responding to threats.

  • Duke||

    Obviously, I don't want anyone killed intentionally, no matter the choice of weapon. But the fact that the US has so many guns per capita, and relatively so few murders of cops, etc per capita, it should be self evident that there is no domestic terror threat.

    But those facts don't matter. Even if a crazy man yells "I'm doing this because I love Obama and the Democratic Party!" it will still be spun against "right wingers." There are literally no statistics that the state won't use to argue in favor of warring against its own citizens.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    it should be self evident that there is no domestic terror threat.

    I remember kicking around the terrorist thing with my dad over 20 years ago. The money quote was "It's a good thing terrorists are stupid." It is, along with basically non-existent in the country. America is thousands upon thousands of square miles of soft targets, easy operational ground, and plentiful weaponry. That it just doesn't happen given how breathtakingly simple it would be to engage in it is a testament to the character of the society and an indictment of people who throw that phrase around to score cheap points politically.

  • sarcasmic||

    I would venture that most of these "stupid" terrorists who get caught are just dopes who were suckered by a government agent who had all the ideas and promised all the supplies. They were just dumb enough to go along with the charismatic agent who got over all of their objections.

  • Sevo||

    I see no listing at all on the number of dogs 'killed by cop'.

  • Pathogen||

    I'm sure they're still processing the FOIA on that one...

  • Michael Price||

    Hey it's hard to do paperwork when you can only type with 2 fingers.

  • jmomls||

    That jpeg is funny & all, but the apostrophe should be before the 'M', not after the 'a'.

    Carry on.

  • Jumbie||

    No, because it's clearly a reference to famed (infamed?) Hit Ampersand Run troll, American.

  • Scarcity||

    Test

  • sarcasmic||

    Testes. One. Two. Testes.

  • pogi||

    I take umbrage with your discrimination against Testicular Cancer Survivors and demand a recount.

  • Libertarian||

    Really?! A cop dying from a heart attack is listed as "killed"? Even if they look like Curly in that pic? (which Stooge movie is that from anyway?)

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    Do they include prisoners murdered by prison guards?

    Or prison guards shanked by inmates?

    Because my guess would be that those numbers will highlight the fact that unnecessary lethal force is used even more often against citizens than what these numbers suggest.

    Most people in prison today are there for minor drug offences. When those people die in prison, that is a "murder by cop" in my mind.

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