But if one looks at the fund’s data for 2005 to 2014, one sees that (a) 2015’s 41 fatal shootings was unusually low, and (b) there is a good deal of year-to-year variation. Indeed, the only three years from 2005 to 2015 that saw fewer than 49 fatal shootings of police officers were 2008 (41), 2013 (33), and 2015 (41), and most years saw at least as big a change in raw numbers as we’re expecting for 2015 to 2016. Most important, if you average the totals from 2005 to 2015, you get almost 53 fatal shootings per year — about the pace we’re seeing for this year.
I share the sorrow and the anger over the murders of the police officers in Dallas, and indeed over murders of police officers generally. But we shouldn’t let the accident that there were fewer fatal police shootings than normal in 2015 make us worry that there’s any broad upward trend.