(NEW YORK) — More than 60,000 law enforcement officers were assaulted in the line of duty in 2020, including more than 40 who were killed, according to the FBI.
The total of 60,105 was an increase of 4,071 from 2019, with FBI drawing on reports from some 9,895 law enforcement agencies.
Among those assaulted, about 31% sustained injuries. In 2020, 46 officers were killed, down from 48 in 2019, FBI data showed.
Most of the assaults on officers happened after they responded to disturbance calls, including family quarrels and bar fights, according to the FBI.
“Police officers across the country are facing an increase in violent crime and violent acts committed against them,” said Laura Cooper, executive director of the Major Cities Chiefs Association. “Facing these dangerous situations is another reason why it has been difficult for police agencies to find recruits who want to put on a uniform and put their lives on the line.”
Vernon Stanforth, president of the National Sheriffs Association, said the staggering numbers weren’t a surprise “after this troubling year for law enforcement.”
Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund President Jason Johnson said the increased assaults on officers come at a time when they’re “seemingly under attack on all fronts.”
In the first nine months of 2021, 54 officers were feloniously killed while on duty compared with 37 over that same time period in 2020, according to the latest FBI data. Among those deaths, 20 were unprovoked attacks.
A new LELDF report showed that from June 1, 2020, to April 30, 2021, in the wake of George Floyd’s killing and the subsequent protests, the percentage of officers quitting or retiring had increased by double digits compared with 2019.
This year, high-profile police killings have already dominated headlines, including the case of Chicago officer Ella French, who was shot during a traffic stop in August.
French, 29, was the first Chicago police officer since 2018 killed in the line of duty and the city’s first female officer killed in the line of duty since 1988.
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