Violence is down in the United States unless you wear a badge
Despite the fact that violence among U.S. citizens have dropped, violence against citizens by American police have rising sharply.
According to an FBI report released this week, violent crime rates in this country had dropped by over 4% in the past year. The amount of violent crimes is lower than it has been in nearly 40 years. FBI statistics shows there was an estimated 1.16 million violent crimes in the year of 2013, which is the lowest number recorded since 1978, when 1.09 million were recorded.
The report states that manslaughter dropped by 4.4% to 14,196, which is the lowest rate since 1968, while reports of rape were down 6.3%. Robbery is also down by 2.8% and property crimes were down by 4.1% despite the fact the poverty level is so high.
Violent crime rates have steadily declined since 1994, but the prison population has continued to increase over the past twenty years. There are currently over two and a half million people imprisoned in the US, which is by far the largest prison population in the world. Politicians on both sides of the isle have proposed legislation that would put a halt to mass incarceration.
A recently published by Pew Charitable Trusts study shows that for the first time in decades, the US prison population is actually on the decline. Their research found that the drop in crime that was seen in 2013 coincides with a decline in the population of U.S. prisons. The study also found that there was a drop in the amount of prisoners in 32 of the 50 states, while imprisonment continued to rise in the other 18 states. California showed the largest drop in crime and imprisonment over the past five years, which is likely connected to changes in drug enforcement policy.
The make up of those incarcerated are mostly nonviolent offenders. According to some statistics, nonviolent offenders make up nearly 70% of the prison population, many of these people are not guilty of any transgression, and they are in fact themselves victims of state violence. These also has economic impacts as these people will need housing and assistance once they are released from prison.
While violence among citizens has dropped, violence against citizens carried out by police has been rising sharply.
The FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report, states that over 460 suspects were shot by police last year, which is the highest number seen in decades. It is not known how many of these "suspects" were in fact armed or were ever actually arrested, which means these numbers are likely under reported.
It is becoming more and more obvious that our police force is out of control and we need to 'put the dogs on a leash"