“Ambush Recharges Debate,” declares the front page of USA Today (12/22/14), a headline over a story about the killing of New York police officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu. The “debate” being recharged is presumably linked to the national protests against police brutality–protests that are in no way connected to this brutal murder.
USA Today‘s contribution to this debate is to encourage readers to think that murders of police officers like these is becoming more common. A front-page graphic is titled “POLICE DEATHS ON THE RISE,” and it shows that overall police deaths increased from 100 last year to 123 this year. The increase is more dramatic when isolating police deaths by firearms: 31 deaths in 2013 and 49 this year.
The paper is very much invested in this storyline; on page 3 the paper runs astory headlined, “Ambush Killings Are Not Uncommon,” citing the same statistics.
But these statistics are highly misleading–in part because police deaths are not the same thing as police murders. As Vox (12/22/14) points out, data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report show that felonious killings of police officers average between 40 and 70 per year; in most years, slightly more officers are killed accidentally.
Yea right. Them that have demonic spirits need to be repaid!