Fatal Traffic Stop

Nobody asked but …

I saw a really good question come out of the recent event wherein a public university LEO (*) shot and killed an unarmed driver after a minor registration stop. How many lives of citizens and LEOs will we continue to expend for government revenue generation? It is interesting to note that a Google search for “routine traffic stop citizen and officer fatalities,” at this writing, shows many sources of officer fatality statistics but few, if any, regarding citizen fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on its web page describes routine traffic stops saying,

Many officers are killed each year and thousands more are injured in traffic related incidences. For example, in 1999, over half of all officer, line-of-duty deaths were related to traffic incidences. In addition, when the use of weapons at the traffic stop are added, the percentage of traffic related deaths is over 55 percent. Every stop for a traffic violation has the potential for danger.

But even if you discount (non-count) citizen deaths, injuries, and property losses, the question remains, “how many officer deaths?”  And we must also wonder whether it’s just for revenue or to support other objectives — I can see that the traffic stop is, in today’s automotive society, the principle interface between citizenry, with a fairly rich vein of criminal possibilities, and law enforcement.  In the days of my grandparents, crimes were seen on sidewalks.  Nowadays, it is on the motorways.  But, still, how many deaths without due process shall we tolerate?  Shall the bureaucrats decide?


* A law enforcement officer (LEO) is any individual who is sworn in as a police officer, sheriff deputy, state trooper, or a federal agent to enforce the laws of the jursdiction he or she serves.

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