The recent fatal shootings of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge set off another round of ‘war on cops’ accusations. Indeed, some, like the head of a national police organization, blame President Barack Obama for encouraging those types of attacks by refusing to condemn Black Lives Matter protesters, Politico reported.
However, the Department of Justice on Friday announced its report, Deadly Calls and Fatal Encounters, which paints a different picture. It found that calls related to domestic disputes resulted in the highest number of officer fatalities.
The DOJ’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) released the study. COPS director, Ronald Davis, said in a statement that the report seeks to understand the risk to police officers and to recommend solutions.
“As President Obama has repeatedly stated, ‘officers deserve to go home at the end of their shifts,’” Davis said.
The report analyzes 684 cases involving line-of-duty deaths over a five-year period (2010-2014). It found that domestic dispute calls accounted for one in five police killings. Domestic disputes, the report said, have long been recognized as one of the most dangerous types of situations for police officers.
Traffic stops were also highly dangerous encounters for cops. The report said traffic stops accounted for 63 percent of fatal officer self-initiated encounters. Over the five-year period, 211 police officers also died from crashes.
Think Progress said these figures “poke holes in the idea that growing popular protest movements against police violence have produced a war on cops.”
The group points to a Washington Post analysis that found police kill civilians at higher numbers: 990 in 2015 and 491 half-way through 2016.
“That’s almost 1,500 police killings in 18 months, compared to 305 law enforcement officers attacked and killed in the line of duty in the six-year span of numbers in the new report,” Think Progress stated.
Obama has tried to find a balance between supporting law enforcement and underscoring racial disparities in the criminal justice system. He walked that tightrope at an ABC News Town Hall meeting in July.