Welcome to the newest edition of The Why. “Why is police violence dominating the news?” you ask? Good question. Timely too. (Besides, it helps us put off answering the questions about bodily orifices. If all those were deleted off the list the Why File would have a big hole.)
Police shootings and other tales of woe having to do with police allegedly abusing alleged criminals (as opposed to people who are not even suspected of criminal activity) have been dominating the news longer than anyone cares to remember. Indeed, in the words of John Hinderaker, blogger for Powerline, one “can hardly open a newspaper or turn on a television set without seeing protesters, rioters and looters, along with earnest talking heads debating the issue.”
But just why is police violence dominating the news? Why as Hinderaker puts it “has violence on the part of policemen become the story du jour?”
Well, isn’t it obvious? Pre-Law and Order “Cop Killer” Ice-T was right. “F*ck Tha Police”. Policemen–especially white ones–suck. If the suspect is not white then he must be innocent especially if even one of the arresting officers is white, right? Gotta be, right?
Hinderaker agrees that “one possible answer is that police violence is a terrible problem that presumably has been with us for quite a while, but is just now coming to light.” He notes that the website “Reason, for example, links to KilledByPolice.net and concludes that ‘more than 1,000 people have been killed by police in 2014’.”
Ah, but do the math. Hinderaker notes “that, in a country of 320 million, there are a perceptible number of fatal encounters with policemen. If you follow the links on the KilledByPolice site, it is immediately obvious that in the overwhelming majority of cases, no possible blame can be attached to the officers in question. “
By his figures, “the percentage of cases in which police officers could reasonably be blamed is very small–somewhere between 1 and 5 percent. So maybe there are somewhere between 10 and 50 cases a year where a serious claim could be made that improper police conduct–not just homicide, but any sort of questionable judgment–resulted in a fatality.”
He agrees that “quantitatively speaking” that doesn’t explain why police violence is dominating the news. The figures are significantly lower than accidental pool death but ya don’t see that on Google News do ya?
The reason why police violence is dominating the news is more likely a combination of “yellow journalism” and perhaps something more sinister. Police violence currently dominates the media because it suits someone’s political agenda.
Hinderaker agrees concluding: “The police abuse story, which began in a nascent form with Trayvon Martin and continued, more fully developed, with Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Freddie Gray, is part of the Democratic Party’s effort to divide America along racial lines, in expectation of political gain.”
Why is police violence dominating the news? Now you know.
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