US: Crime Down, Fear Up. Police kill more than 1,100

The NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton summed up the year’s crime stats earlier this month, telling his fellow officers that 2015 has seen the same decline in crime rates in the US that the last decades have shown. He also focused on the “terrible” year for the NYPD, with 4 officers killed in the line of duty, saying that this made the fall in crime rates somewhat “hollow”…

Some other notable facts about crime and punishment this year:

  • 7 out of 10 Americans think crime rates are up, not down.
  • Trust and confidence in law enforcement is at an all time low, surveys show.
  • US law enforcement officers have killed 1,130 people this year, at the time of writing this.
  • Murder rates are slightly up.
  • Police claim to feel “under siege” this year, though on duty deaths are down from 47 to 39.
  • 220 of the 1130 people killed by police this year, were unarmed.

Those few bullet points doesn’t give us the whole picture, naturally. But, they do show us some important corner pieces. While Americans in general are more fearful, the crime rates are down. Generally speaking, people no longer trust that the police are there to protect them, and in response to that, police feel “under siege” and the levels of fear towards the general public – even children, as we’ve seen – is at an all time high.

The purpose of law enforcement is to keep the public safe, not spread fear. It is to prevent killings and murder, not perpetrate them. The growing divide also between the colored community and law enforcement is sure to create tension, incidents and more fear in the coming year, unless drastic measures are taken to reform the law enforcement community. The chances of that, however, seems slim.

At the end of the day, we would like to wish everyone a merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and a quiet, safe and secure 2016.

All the best, from

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