Watching Ferguson unfold, please stop saying, "Well, this is just what state law enforcement is like!"

Because it is just plain false:
So the biggest government in the free world chooses not to keep statistics on how many people get shot by law enforcement. So be it. It does keep figures on "justifiable homicide", which it defines as "the killing of a felon by a law enforcement official in the line of duty". When is a police homicide not "justifiable"? Ah, well. At any rate, for 2012, the corpse count was 410.
By comparison, for the years 2012 and 2013 in England and Wales: No fatal police shootings. In the Netherlands: The average for the last 35 years is three dead and 15 injured.
Fifteen injured per year in the entire nation? Pikers! Over here, the police can rack up almost that many in innocent bystanders at a single incident outside the Empire State Building: 
New York (CNN) -- On a busy Friday morning in Manhattan, nine pedestrians suffered bullet or fragment wounds after police unleashed a hail of gunfire at a man wielding a .45 caliber pistol who had just killed a former co-worker. So the problem here, to put it in Mr Castagnoli's terms, is that what are any other developed nation's annual statistics add up to one mere "anecdote" in the United States. 
In Germany, a nation of 80 million people, police in 2011 fatally shot six persons. In Denmark, police shot 11 people in 11 years, and this was felt to be so disturbing that the National Police Commissioner held an inquiry into why his cops had gotten so trigger-happy.
In Australia, 41 people were shot by police in eight years, and the then Justice Minister Amanda Vanstone (whose friend thinks I'm "eminently shaggable", but I digress) thought that that was too high. In Iceland, police have fatally shot just one suspect. That's one guy in the entire history of the country. He was killed by police last December: 
The 59-year-old was reported to have been shot on Monday after firing on police as they entered the building in the east of the Icelandic capital, Reykjavik. Teargas canisters had initially been fired through the windows after the man continued shooting and two police officers are reported to have been slightly injured after they entered. The gunman was brought to hospital but was pronounced dead there at around 10am local time. The case will be investigated by Iceland's state prosecutor. The country's national police chief, Haraldur Johannessen, told a press conference in Reykjavik that the incident was "without precedent". "The police are deeply saddened by this tragic event and would like to extend their condolences to the family of the individual in question," he added. Iceland, a country where gun ownership is widespread, has one of the lowest violent crime rates in the world.  
So, whether you're talking about gun-controlled England or heat-packing Iceland, comparisons between American "justifiable homicides" and police shooting rates of other western nations are hardly worth bothering with. Indeed, the US police "justifiable homicide" figure looks more like the total murder count for most other developed societies.
This is not a problem inherent in government police forces at all: it is a uniquely American problem.

And if you are misidentifying the cause of a problem to advance you own political agenda, despite massive evidence against you... you are part of the problem!


Popular posts from this blog

Fiat Currency

Panda Bob vs. Komodo Dragon