- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 4, 2017
An unclassified FBI study on last year’s cop-killing spree found officers are “de-policing”
 amid concerns that anti-police defiance fueled in part by movements like Black Lives
 Matter has become the “new norm.”
“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.
The report, “Assailant Study — Mindsets and Behaviors,” said 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.”
FBI spokesman Matthew Bertron said the study was written in April.
“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,” the study said.
As a result, “Law enforcement officials believe that defiance and hostility displayed
 by assailants toward law enforcement appears to be the new norm.”

The report examined 50 of the 53 incidents last year in which officers were killed in
 the line of duty, excluding the three cases that involved minors or perpetrators who
 remain unknown.
Most of the assailants who used deadly force against officers did so in an effort to
 avoid being taken into custody, but 28 percent were motivated by hatred of police
 and a desire to “kill law enforcement,” in some cases fueled by social and political
“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 said.

The perpetrators said their animus toward police was based on their own experiences
 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.
Five officers were killed in the Dallas ambush, which coincided with a protest against
 police shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota, while three officers died
in the Baton Rouge massacre.
Last year was particularly deadly for police: Sixty-four were shot and killed in the
 line of duty, a 56 percent increase from 2015. Of those, 21 were killed in ambush-
style attacks, “the highest total in more than two decades,” according to the National
 Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
While racial tension has been the focus of deadly police encounters since the
 Brown shooting, nearly half of the assailants who killed officers in 2016 —
48 percent — were white, the FBI study found.
Of the rest, 36 percent were black, 14 percent were Hispanic, and 2 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.
In addition, 26 percent were under active warrants, and 24 percent had known
gang affiliations. All were men.
The report also found that 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,” said the study.
Such factors have “had the effect of ‘de-policing’ in law enforcement agencies
 across the country, which assailants have exploited.”
The report cited an example in which an officer was slammed to the ground
and beaten but refused to shoot the assailant “for fear of community backlash.”
“The officer informed the superintendent that the officer chose not to shoot
because the officer didn’t want his/her ‘family or department to have to go
through the scrutiny the next day on the national news,’” said the study