Three police officers have been shot in Baton Rouge, LA in an ongoing escalation of the budding conflict between cops and those who want cops dead.
In a shooting Sunday afternoon, three officers have been killed and three wounded. The attack comes right on the heels of a killing by police in Baton Rouge, and may be connected as a form of vengeance (details still pending).
This comes soon after a sniper in Dallas killed five cops in a shooting rampage, and was himself taken out by a robot-delivered bomb. The shooter appears to have been motivated by animosity against police for targeting and killing members of minority communities.
A violent response to decades of unrelenting police brutality
The recent escalation of violence against police can be seen as a response to unprecedented levels of police brutality. American confidence in police is at a 22-year low, the lowest since such confidence was measured immediately after the Rodney King beating of the early 90s. There is a large disparity in confidence in police between white and black Americans, and a full 40% of blacks polled have very little to no confidence in the US criminal justice system.
Over 1,700 Americans have been killed by police over the last two years, 591 of them just this year (contrasted with 42 officers murdered this year). In the decade following the September 11th terrorist attacks, over 5,000 were killed by police, making a statistically higher threat to American civilians than terrorism.
A blow against the peaceful police accountability movement
The recent spate of violence against police may end up setting back police accountability movements which have attempted to find justice through peaceful action. Organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the Institute for Justice seek to reduce police abuse through education and litigation, while groups like Cop Block seek to shine a light directly on police brutality through spreading public awareness and filming police encounters. All have denounced violence as a solution.