An unclassified FBI study analyzing 2016’s cop-killing binge finds officers are taking a less active approach to ‘proactive’ policing amid concern an anti-police narrative is becoming the standard.
The report, “Assailant Study — Mindsets and Behaviors,” says that the social-justice movement sparked by the 2014 death of 18-year-old Michael Brown at the hands of an officer in Ferguson, Missouri, “made it socially acceptable to challenge and discredit the actions of law enforcement.”
“Departments — and individual officers — have increasingly made the decision to stop engaging in proactive policing,” said the report by the FBI Office of Partner Engagement obtained by The Washington Times.
FBI spokesman Matthew Bertron tells The Washington Times the study was written in April.
The study reveals cops not only feel unsupported by political leaders, but also those same politicians played a part in fanning the flames of anti-police sentiment.
“Nearly every police official interviewed agreed that for the first time, law enforcement not only felt that their national political leaders [publicly] stood against them, but also that the politicians’ words and actions signified that disrespect to law enforcement was acceptable in the aftermath of the Brown shooting,” according to the study.
The result, reports The Washington Times, “Law enforcement officials believe that defiance and hostility displayed by assailants toward law enforcement appears to be the new norm.”
According to The Washington Times, the report examines 50 of the 53 incidents last year in which officers were killed in the line of duty. The analysis excludes three cases involving minors or perpetrators who remain unknown.
According to the report, aggressors who used deadly force against officers did so in an effort to avoid incarceration, but 28 percent were motivated by hatred of police and a desire to “kill law enforcement,” in some cases fueled by social and political movements … like Black Lives Matter.
“The assailants inspired by social and/or political reasons believed that attacking police officers was their way to ‘get justice’ for those who had been, in their view, unjustly killed by law enforcement,” the study finds.
The Washington Times reports perpetrators revealed their animosity toward police is founded in their own experience as well as “what they heard and read in the media about other incidents involving law enforcement shootings.”
Those charged in the July 2016 shootings of police in Dallas and Baton Rouge said, “they were influenced by the Black Lives Matter movement, and their belief that law enforcement was targeting black males,” the report said.
While racial tension has been the focus of deadly police encounters since the Brown shooting in Ferguson, nearly 50 percent of attackers who killed officers in 2016 — 48 percent — were white, according to the FBI study.
Of the remainder, 36 percent were black, 14 percent were Hispanic and two percent were Native Alaskan. Nearly all — 86 percent — had criminal histories; 60 percent had used drugs and 32 percent were under the influence at the time of the attack.
Additionally, The Washington Times reports, 26 percent were under active warrants, and 24 percent had known gang affiliations. The study reports all the attackers were men.
The study also revealed the trend toward drug decriminalization and reduced sentencing had emboldened perpetrators, making them believe that “consequences no longer exist for criminal acts, especially drug offenses.”
“Across the country, law enforcement link the decriminalization of drugs to the increase in violent attacks on law enforcement,” the study reports.
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