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Amy Klobuchar Got Ratioed for Tweet Honoring Police Who Died Last Year While Leaving Out All the Necessary Context

Amy Klobuchar sits looking anguished, holding her hand to her temple during a senate panel

Over the weekend, Amy Klobuchar announced that a Senate resolution had passed making this week “National Police Week” in honor of the 576 police officers who died last year. In a tweet, Klobuchar says this is “one small way to recognize their courage” for choosing to “put their lives on the line every day to protect our communities.”

Except what Klobuchar fails to mention is that more than 3/4 of those deaths were due to COVID-19. According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, which keeps a record of officers’ deaths, there were 623 line-of-duty deaths in 2021, and 444 of those were from COVID.

Fortunately, a few thousand Twitter users were there to let her know.

Surely some of these are people who took proper precautions and respected public health mandates and guidelines and still contracted the virus—as happened to so many people over the last two-plus years—and those deaths are tragic.

However, as NPR wrote recently, “police departments and unions in cities across the country — including New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle and Phoenix — have pushed back against mandates requiring vaccines for public employees, filing lawsuits and threatening resignation.”

“Leaders of some states and localities have even used the lack of a vaccine mandate as an incentive to recruit law enforcement officers from other parts of the country,” that report continues. Ron DeSantis, remember, even offered unvaccinated officers a $500 bonus to relocate to Florida.

The Senate resolution specifically praises “the law enforcement community for continual unseen acts of sacrifice and heroism, especially in the midst of the COVID–19 pandemic crisis faced by the United States.” Because of the heavily public-facing nature of their job, police officers have been at high risk of contracting COVID-19. But as a community, by fighting mandates and discouraging others from even wearing masks in their presence, they put a lot of people in danger.

At this point, we’ve all read stories and seen videos of police officers getting angry and even violent with people asking them to wear masks. Does that deserve a whole week of official commemoration?

Of course, there’s another bit of context glaringly absent from Klobuchar’s tweet, and that’s that the number of people shot and killed by police last year is nearly double that of the number of officers who died.

Also, the timing of this commemoration literally could not be worse.

After years of mounting demands for police accountability, the Senate is making it 100% clear they couldn’t care less.

(image: Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.