Hit & Run

Michelle Malkin's "Cop Killed Every 58 Hours" Claim Not Truthful UPDATED: With Response From Michelle Malkin


Michelle Malkin waving white flag as a 'Defeatocrat'
Hot Air

In a desperately apologist piece about police at National Review Online, Michelle Malkin writes that 1,501 cops died in the line of duty in the last decade, concluding, as the headline stated, that a cop was killed in the U.S. every 58 hours.

Here is a link to the break down of those 1,500 deaths by year and cause, from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which Malkin cited but didn't link*. And below are the numbers for the 100 cops Malkin said were "killed" last year:

Aircraft accident – 1

Auto Crashes - 28

Bomb-Related Incident – 1

Drowned – 2

Electrocuted – 1

Fall – 6

Job-Related Illness – 13

Motorcycle Crashes – 4

Poisoned – 1

Shot – 31

Stabbed – 2

Struck by Vehicle - 11

You can use your judgment about which of the types of death above should be included when considering the threat cops face of someone killing them, and search through individual cases here. Only two one* of those categories (shot and stabbed) can be assumed to include only cops killed by someone trying to kill them. Some of them, like job-related illness and aircraft accident, have little if anything to do with the people cops interact with and aren't part of the "war zone" Malkin claims cops operate in every day.

As Anthony Fisher explained yesterday, accurate data on police use of force is hard to come by. An impartial list of people killed by cops last year (in all kinds of situations, justified or otherwise) on Wikipedia includes 316 "civilians".

For even more context, the job of "police officer" doesn't show up on lists of America's ten most dangerous jobs based on federal statistics.

*As commenter P Brooks notes, the shot category may not exclude suicide, which is not listed as a separate cause in the list. It demonstrates why these numbers, while flashy for headlines, aren't all that clear.

*UPDATE: As Malkin correctly points out on Twitter, she did link to the info from the memorial fund on the version of the article that appeared on her website. I read it at National Review, which included no links.

UPDATE 2: Malkin insists on Twitter her column was "accurate." When I asked why such very different deaths would all be lumped in as cops who were "killed in the line of duty," she said the numbers were the memorial fund's, not hers. She said I had my agenda and she had hers. Previously she complained that I called her a police apologist (even though I called her piece that), though her admission of uncritically passing off data from a pro-cop source, coupled with the admission of an agenda (yes, we all have them), makes it seem like it's not just her piece that's police apologist but her too. Cops who died of things like "work-related illnesses" shouldn't be classified as having been "killed in the line of duty," at least not by anyone who's not trying to be a police apologist.

NEXT: Friday A/V Club: Buster Keaton vs. the Los Angeles Police Department

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  1. She must know her premise is bullshit; what the hell is her motivation?

    1. Michelle Malkin loves the state. She knows that every time the state kills someone or hurts them or cages them or takes their home away from them, it's really for their own good and an act of love.

      She wants us all to be loved by the state, because it means that the loving hobnails will some day be ground into her skin, and she will have conquered herself.

      1. Yeah, didn't she write a book or something justifying the internment of Japanese Americans by FDR?

        1. Yes. Yes she did.

          1. I have this sneaking suspicion that that book was less about the Japanese-Americans than about Muslim-Americans.

            George Takei has a sad.

            1. Oh, my!

              1. +2 snaps and a circle

            2. Anyone have an idea who the Japanese dude is who is parallel to Mohammed Atta on the book's cover? Because if it's just some random Japanese dude, that's a pretty sleazy thing to do.

              1. He is Richard Kotoshirodo, a Japanese-American allegedly working with a Japanese agent in Hawaii, who was arrested shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

              2. He is Richard Kotoshirodo, a Japanese-American man who by his own admission assisted the Honolulu-based spy ring that fed intelligence to Tokyo that was key to the design of the Pearl Harbor attack


            3. Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner! (PL).

              But she had to retroactively support the internment of US citizens of Japanese ancestry to lay a framework for her fantasy of interning US citizens who are muslims. Ignoring of course that Islam is a belief system and being (ethnic) japanese is genetic.

              Also the somewhat understandable hatred for (ethnic) japanese by (ethnic) filipinos. But part of the American experience is leaving those ethnic hatreds back home (again, emphasizing that hatred of a country is different than hatred of a people).

            4. Eh, could be both. The Filipinos I've known had no particular love of the Japanese.

              Either way, Malkin is one crazy cunt.

          2. I just Googled that.

            "[a]ccording to Malkin, it is OK to take away an entire ethnic group's civil rights because some individuals are suspect. [...] It is painful to see reopened for serious debate the question of whether the government was justified in imprisoning Japanese Americans during World War II. It was my hope that my case and the cases of other Japanese American internees would be remembered for the dangers of racial and ethnic scapegoating."

            Jesus Christ.

  2. Always telling when someone feels the need to fudge the numbers.

  3. Those cops would still be alive today if certain minorities would be guests in an American internment camp.

    1. We should refer to her internment book as *Franklin Delano Roosevelt Was Right and Ronald Reagan Was Wrong, by Conservative Author Michelle Malkin.* I mean, who authorized the internment, and who signed the bill providing an apology and compensation for the victims?

  4. I always wonder what made Malkin turn from beloved Reason columnist to well, whatever she is now.

    Did Postrel say something mean to her? Did Nick reject her advances to the Jacket symbiote?

    1. She was not universally liked.

      My guess is that Reason's emphasis on, well, reason, as opposed to the hysterical jingoism Malkin purveys was the issue. She's one of the many partisan hacks who thought that libertarians were easily-led, unprincipled partisans who just needed to be fed the correct narrative.

      1. hysterical


        1. At least Tonio didn't call her bossy...

          1. That would be one of the nicest things I could call her.

    2. Did she write regularly for Reason? The online archive only has one article attributed to her from 1999.

      1. I don't believe so. And I am being hyperbolic concerning her belovedness, I mean she's no Lucy. But still, she was a fellow traveler until 9/11 caused her to go batshit insane. Not an uncommon occurrence.

        1. Don't talk about Lucy!

        2. Same thing happened to Dennis Miller, dammit.

  5. Fortunately, some influential non-libertarianish traditional conservatives are starting to hop on the anti-militarization of policing bandwagon. Mark Steyn had a column yesterday lamenting as much: "But they won't, will they? As I usually say around this point, where's the Republican Party on the militarization of domestic policing?... America will not even have the consolation of dying as a First World country, but as something far bloodier and savage."

    1. At least the face getting stomped on by a jackboot has Obamacare and a robust welfare state.

      1. Does it mandate coverage for jackbook-related injuries?

        1. Yes, but it will have to reimburse the cost of replacing the jackboot it ruined with its blood.

          1. Speaking of which, has anyone posted this yet? (Ferguson cops charge man with bleeding on their uniforms.)

            1. Holy fuck, you can't even parody this shit.

            2. Well, that certainly adds to the ongoing erosion of my irrational yet intrinsic need to cling to some type of hope.

    2. Fortunately, some influential non-libertarianish traditional conservatives are starting to hop on the anti-militarization of policing bandwagon.

      How fortune it is remains to be seen. Are they actually going to do anything about it, or are they just using it as the hammer of the month for hitting the democrats with, only to completely forget about it when the next big outrage comes along and they've so thoroughly politicized the issue that no actual reform is possible?

  6. Twitchy.com is sometimes amusing for proglodyte tears, but Michelle Malkin is not for taking seriously.

    1. Twitchy.com worships Malkin.

  7. Only two of those categories (shot and stabbed) can be assumed to include only cops killed by someone trying to kill them.

    Have they excluded suicides from the gunshot category?

    1. I'm struggling to come up with any reason why a cop would off him or herself. Rolling in money doing a job where you get to live out your middle school fantasies of beating the shit out of all the cool kids who made fun of you and indulge your sadist tendencies. God knows they don't feel guilt.

      1. I can't fathom why anyone would kill himself, but people do.

        1. Eh, I can't fathom why more people don't kill themselves, to be honest, it's just that cops get such a perverse level of satisfaction out of their power position that I can't imagine them reaching that level.

      2. They get caught doing something bad enough that they know their union won't be able to get them out of.

        1. Or they're one of the "good cops" that realize they'll never be able to change the system and it drives them over the edge.

      3. your middle school fantasies of beating the shit out of all the cool kids who made fun of you

        I don't think it's bullied kids who head towards the police.

        In fact, a not small number of people I know of who became cops were "the cool kids who made fun of (people)". To keep indulging in the sadism they were already exhibiting.

        1. ^ This

          You have to be clueless if you think bullied kids become cops. The people who become cops already have an authoritarian or holier-than-thou attitude to start with. That pretty much means the bullies are the ones who become cops.

          Even those applicants who start a police career as some sort of duty to public service eventually get assimilated into the "us vs. everybody" attitude of the larger PD's. These are the ones with limited intellectual capabilities - they have low-grade bullshit detectors. They can easily spot the bullshit of a drug dealer's story for example, but can't spot the bullshit of drug prohibition.

    2. Or "friendly fire" from other cops freaking out and emptying their guns?

      1. One of those gunshots was this guy:


        The only police officer killed in Lakewood, CO's history, and done by friendly fire. But included in Malkin's statistics.

    3. Or cops accidentally shot by other cops. See: http://www.sfgate.com/crime/ar.....175192.php

      I actually found about 5 more of these where the other cop didn't die.

      1. I feel marginally guilty about how humorous I found that.

        1. "The sources said the circular layout of the... apartment... appears to be a factor in the case."

          Yeah. Sorry, but that's just funny right there.

          1. A literal circular firing squad.

            1. +1 Idiocracy!

      2. Only tangentially related, but

        Sources have also told The Chronicle that the shooting was not captured by body cameras issued to all BART officers up to the rank of sergeant because the detectives weren't wearing the devices and the uniformed officers didn't activate theirs.

        So the device whose sole purpose is to provide an unbiased record of events has an off switch on it. Brilliant.

  8. Had to go with the schoolgirl costume and pigtails photo, didn't you? There goes my morning.

  9. Malkin's marbles are square and that dusty mouthpiece cannot utter anything with spitting GOP establishment cum everywhere.

    1. 'without'

      I doesn't take a goddamn genius to allow editing, Reason. At least throw Disqus on here.

  10. I don't have a problem with Malkin (or anyone else) counting all those deaths as occurring in the line of duty. Standing on the side of the road, for example, is a real danger to cops. It is a much bigger statistical danger than we, the citizens, pose to law enforcement. If we had numbers (Fedzilla refuses to track them, despite congressional request), we'd almost certainly find that FAR more cops shoot or otherwise injure innocent civilians than civilians harm or kill cops. Attempts to guestimate what he government refuses to measure tell us ~4-500. Nobody wants cops killed, or even harmed in the line of duty. But it will happen. We, as a society, acknowledge and expect a danger in the law enforcement gig for a reason. We want to limit that danger, but not at the expense of civilians. American cops should be loathe, not eager, to use force, especially deadly force. Our policing methods don't use violence as a last resort. Thousands of no-knock pot raids are just *some* evidence of that. The Michelle Malkins of the world have the #s to generate rational empathy for cops. I empathize with them, too. But we need know how many Americans are being harmed by cops to know if our policing methods are balancing the risk of danger appropriately. Seems obvious that they aren't. There's no problem with what Malkin says. It is what she doesn't mention - all the many 100s of innocent Americans (maybe faster than soldiers dying in the Iraq War!) who lose their lives to cops every year.

    1. This is true. Roadside stops are a significant danger for cops. Another reason speed limits shouldn't exist.

    2. " There's no problem with what Malkin says. "


  11. Malkin's willingness to use phony numbers explains a lot about the stupidity at HA. But what is Reason's excuse for being a bunch of rino cocksuckers?

  12. While her methodology is misleading to say the least, isn't there a larger issue with her proposition. The fact that police officers have dangerous jobs (even if they're nowhere near the most dangerous) has absolutely nothing to do with the events in St. Louis right now. Are we supposed to say "well, sure he shot an unarmed kid and apparently tried to cover it up, but hey, it's a dangerous job, so nothing to see here"?

  13. you know what? why do you make this an us against them story..try getting to know a police officer...you may be surprised..i dont think you have any subjective inkling of what it might be like to go to a job...and have to deal directly with people..the public...security officers are considered by many gangs to be a soft target for initiation for example...

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