Fox Host Says Violence Against Police Officers Increasing, But Data Show The Exact Opposite
Fox's Eric Bolling Inaccurately Claims Violence Against Police Officers Is Increasing Due To Black Lives Matter
Blog ››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN
Fox News co-host Eric Bolling dubiously claimed violence against police officers has been increasing, and attributed the supposed increase to the Black Lives Matter movement and criticism of police.
On the November 5 edition of Fox News' The Five, the show's hosts discussed recent comments from film director Quentin Tarantino regarding police officers and Drug Enforcement Administration head Chuck Rosenberg speculating that the "Ferguson effect" -- the idea that increased scrutiny and criticism of police brutality is leading to increased violence, especially against police officers against police officers -- was real and recent criticism of the police was leading to more violence. Bolling claimed "Violence to police officers is going up as well based on" criticism of police and Black Lives Matter has "blue blood on their hands":
ERIC BOLLING: That's when the ... downside of Quentin Tarantino making a comment like that, that cops are murderers, he walks it back. In the meantime it feeds into the narrative. "What do we want, we want them dead, cops, dead cops," walking through the corridors here of Manhattan. Calling for dead cops and violence against cops rise. Remember the two guys who were executed over here in Brooklyn? In days after that, that protest. People, as Dana points out, people look up to Quentin Tarantino. They look up to Hollywood actors and directors, and it feeds into that narrative. Cop violence is going up. Your point, Juan, violence at the end of a police officer is going up. Violence to police officers is going up as well based on this. Black Lives Matter has blood on their hands, they have blue blood on their hands.
However, recent data show that both killings and assaults of police officers have been trending downward. Data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund comparing police officer fatalities between January 1 through November 5, 2015 and January 1 through November 5, 2014 found firearms-related fatalities were down 23 percent from 2014. Furthermore, as Radley Balko of The Washington Post noted in September, 2015 "is on pace" to "end with the second lowest number of murdered cops in decades," and "assaults on police officers are in decline as well":
So far, 2015 is on pace to see 35 felonious killings of police officers. If that pace holds, this year would end with the second lowest number of murdered cops in decades.
The other way you could measure the rate of killings of police officers is to look at the number with respect to the overall population. Here's another graph from [the American Enterprise Institute's Mark A. Perry] that plots those figures:
As you can see, by this measure 2015 is shaping up to be the second safest year for police ever, after 2013.
But assaults on police officers are in decline as well. That is, not only are fewer people killing police officers, fewer people are trying to harm them.
Fox News has run a continuous campaign to hype up the "Ferguson effect" and demonize the Black Lives Matter movement. Numerous experts and mainstream outlets have debunked the theory, noting there's no evidence at this time to support it.