PolitiFact — Joe Biden says domestic violence calls prompt most police deaths; data lists likelier causes

by Amy Sherman | March 15, 2023

Rather than wanting to “defund” the police, President Joe Biden has called for more money for training for law enforcement, saying they need more help.

“We expect our cops to be social workers. We expect them to be psychologists, mental health counselors,” Biden said during a March 9 speech about his fiscal year 2024 budget proposal. “You know, more cops are killed responding to domestic violence calls than anything else. Did you know that?”

Biden did not specify what year or years he was referring to and didn’t say whether he was including accidents. Some experts told us without such qualifiers, it’s hard to evaluate Biden’s statement. The White House did not respond to our request for evidence.

… Domestic violence calls can be deadly for police, but Biden overstated the data.

Still, “that claim is commonly heard among law enforcement folks — that domestic conflict calls are unusually risky,” said Jeffrey Butts, the director of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s research and evaluation center.

In domestic violence calls, Butts said “the fact that police have been called indicates that emotions are already hot and someone is vulnerable.”

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