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Busting the Myth of "Racist Killer Cops" By: Michael P. Tremoglie
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, December 22, 2003


There are people who believe that law enforcement officers are omnipotent. Worse, they believe the myths that white cops kill more blacks than whites. A myth propagated by race baiting, civil rights exploiting "community activists" like Donna Stanley and Steven Love of the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati. "Why is it that African-American males are continuing to die at the hands of police officers while no other groups seem to suffer the same consequences?" they asked.

This is a myth disseminated by the liberals and civil libertarians so concerned about treatment of criminals. A myth propagated by communist front organizations like the National Lawyers Guild (NLG). The NLG operates a propaganda program called the Stolen Lives Project about killings of citizens by police. According to the website, "The victims are overwhelmingly African American...."

The public believes this myth because liberal journalists - most of whom are inveterate cop-haters – circulate it. Yet the reality about who is shot by cops is very different than is reported by the civil libertarians and their mainstream media puppets.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, in March 2001, published the most comprehensive study about homicides committed by cops. The report titled Policing and Homicide 1976 to 1998, listed the demographic information about citizens killed by cops that were determined to be justifiable homicides and about cops killed by citizens.

The report determined that:

  • In 1998 white officers were 87 percent of the Nation's 641,208 police and accounted for 82 percent of justifiable homicides by police. Black officers were 11 percent of the Nation's police and accounted for 17 percent of all justifiable homicides.
  • The black-officer-kills-black-felon rate was 32 per 100,000 black officers in 1998, which is higher than the white-officer-kills-black-felon rate of 14 per 100,000 white officers.
  • The white-officer-kills-white-felon rate was 28 per 100,000 white officers in 1998, which is higher than the black-officer-kills-white-felon rate of 11 per 100,000 black officers.
  • Young black males murdered police officers at a rate almost 6 times that of young white males. From 1980 to 1998, young black males made up about 1 percent of the U.S. population but 21 percent of felons who murdered a police officer young white males were 8 percent of the population but 20 percent of the murderers of law enforcement officers.

Remarkably the mainstream media did not report this information – which was revelatory. Unfortunately, because this information is not reported by the mainstream media this data does not find its way into classrooms or courtrooms. Professors predisposed to hating American society or believing that white cops are intrinsically racist will never know the truth about police shootings. Because of their ignorance the myths will continue to be taught.

Professional organizations like the American Society of Criminology do not promulgate such data. Conservative scholarly organizations, like the National Association of Scholars, which purportedly exists to eliminate tendentious scholarship from academia are of no help. They did not circulate this scholarly data to their members.

Journalists, too indolent or too prejudiced to seek the information themselves, continue to rely on the cop-hating civil libertarians for data. Yet this information, which is truly newsworthy, shatters the media template for cop-shootings. One would think the media would be anxious to report it.

In 1993, the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) of the University of Chicago surveyed Americans about law enforcement practices in the United States. One question of those polled was, " Would you approve of a policeman striking a citizen who was attacking a police officer?"

Six percent of those surveyed nationally said that they would not. Think about this. According to this very well regarded poll, six percent of Americans said that cops could not use force to protect themselves.

This means that in a city of 300,000, like Cincinnati, there are about 18,000 people who will believe that the cops should have never used force to arrest Nathaniel Jones. This is an awful lot of prospective jurors. What is even more fascinating is the profile of those objecting to cops using force to defend themselves. They were black females, earning less than $20,000 per year, who were high school dropouts, between the ages of 30 to 49, and who were not affiliated with a religion.

"Civil rights" attorneys who want to sue a city know exactly which TV shows to appear on with their clients. This way they can favorably influence potential jurors.

The same year this survey was conducted, 1993, a suspect attacked a cop during a car stop and killed him. The suspect wounded another cop as well. Despite the fact that there were two officers and one suspect one officer was killed and another almost killed.

The appeal to the prejudice against cops works very well. Those who can know the truth about the interaction of law enforcement and citizens do not want to know the truth. It is too inconvenient and cannot be exploited by media, which want to sell advertising, and ideologues who want to undermine police for their own reasons.


A former police officer, Michael P. Tremoglie recently published his first novel, A Sense of Duty. His work has appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, Human Events, and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has a Master of Science degree from Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia.


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