Law enforcement officers nationwide are being executed simply for doing their job. In fact, for the fifth year in a row, ambush-style executions were the number one cause of felonious officer deaths, according to a 2014 report released by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF).

So why are some U.S. politicians and other leaders encouraging the public to question the integrity of public safety officers, who are hired to PROTECT the public and the officials who represent them?

The current anti-police sentiment is in reaction to citizen deaths during altercations with police officers. The most noteworthy case is that of a Ferguson, Missouri police officer who shot and killed teenager Michael Brown, an African American, on Aug. 9, 2014 while he was fleeing police. In this case, like many of the others, Brown was not cooperative with police during his attempted arrest. However, much of the media coverage does not discuss that very critical fact. Shortly before the shooting, Brown was captured on video camera robbing a nearby convenience store, stealing several cigarillos and shoving the store clerk. Police said a struggle between Brown and a Ferguson officer over the officer's gun led to his death.

It's pretty straightforward – officers dealing with uncooperative citizens must protect themselves. If they don't protect themselves, who will be there to protect the public?

When a person resists arrest, it is imperative officers react swiftly. And it doesn't matter if that person is African American, Hispanic, Caucasian, male, female or even a teenager. Every person who disobeys a law enforcement officer's instructions risks not only their lives, but the lives of the people in close proximity to the situation. Police cannot pick and choose when they will react quickly -- doing so means innocent lives could be lost. What would be the public outcry then? Of course, the outcry would be 'Why didn't that officer protect those innocent people?'

It is all too easy to second guess an officer's reaction to a given situation. After all, armchair quarterbacks have the advantage of endless time to decide how they would react. Law enforcement officers have mere seconds to make a decision. If an officer's response comes into question, there are measures in place to ensure they are properly investigated and if necessary, reprimanded or incarcerated. All actions of police officers are reviewable by Internal Affairs and if charges are brought against the officer, juries or judges have the final say.

The lack of respect and appreciation for these men and women in uniform is tearing at the very fabric of our nation. These highly publicized cases have resulted in the looting and burning of businesses whose owners had absolutely nothing to do with the incidents. How can anyone justify that as a logical reaction? Much more disturbing is the completely illogical justification that innocent officers should be murdered in retribution for those who die because they resisted arrest. Vigilante-style executions of innocent police officers are nothing less than assassinations. And politicians who question police officers integrity in these cases are doing nothing less than emboldening mentally ill individuals to kill cops. One has to wonder if politicians and other leaders who are so quick to jump on the anti-law enforcement bandwagon would put their lives on the line to protect those same citizens like police officers do every day.

One such politician is New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who police union officials accused of seeming to condone criticism of police. Officers literally turned their backs on de Blasio while he began his eulogy of New York Officer Wenjian Liu, 32. Lui and Officer Rafael Ramos, 40, were shot and killed in their parked patrol car in Brooklyn on Dec. 20, 2014 by a man who had announced on social media his intention to kill police officers. He killed himself in a nearby subway station shortly after the shooting. Their murders followed weeks of protests over policing practices, particularly after a grand jury declined to indict an officer whose chokehold contributed to the death of an African American Staten Island man.

"The brutal, cold-blooded assassination of New York City Police Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos should shock the conscience of every law abiding citizen of our nation," said NLEOMF Chairman Craig Floyd. "The divisive rhetoric that has recently permeated the public dialogue following the incidents in Ferguson and Staten Island may very well have influenced at least one weak-minded individual to launch a vicious and fatal ambush attack against two unsuspecting police officers. Words do matter and they are putting our peace officers at risk."

National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) President Thomas Nee wrote President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder imploring them to publicly declare their support of law enforcement. "Unless and until you reverse course and take action against these killers and the violent and lawless mobs that support them, unless and until you are just as swift in effectively protecting our police as you have proved to be in doubting them, there will be more officers killed," Nee wrote.

"As a stark reminder of this sobering fact, the number of law enforcement officer fatalities (in 2014) is more than 20 percent higher than in 2013, with firearms-related deaths up nearly 60 percent and the number of officers killed in ambush attacks (12) is triple the annual average," Floyd said. "With the shooting death of Tarpon Springs (FL) Police Officer Charles Kondek ... three officers have been murdered in less than 24 hours."

Our nation's leaders MUST work with, not against the brave men and women they have called upon to protect their citizens. They must support them publicly and loudly. Otherwise how can police officers uphold the law when the very people they are hired to protect are supporting the uprising against them?

Fred Timpner, Executive Director, MAP