A 2016 report from the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund found a 56 percent increase in firearm-related deaths of police officers in the previous year. Sixty-four officers were killed in firearm-related incidents in 2016, compared to 41 the previous year. It was the highest tally of firearms-related deaths on record since 2011. So far in 2017, 115 police officers have fallen, and 41 of those deaths were caused by gunfire.
Are these statistics ever mentioned during the debate over America’s justice system? For every Colin Kaepernick GQ cover or celebrity rant on social media, there are officers like Shaw, who do not display an abuse of power in the discharge of their duties. So often during the NFL anthem protests, you hear players vow it has nothing to do with the U.S. military or police (although a lot of Americans are getting just that message). But it seems they have no problem disrespecting the officers who are paid to ensure players get from their cars to the stadium and back to the parking lot safe and sound. Our justice system isn’t perfect, and we should work to redress all injustices no matter their victims’ identities, but that shouldn’t detract from the many police officers who do their dangerous jobs well.