Shootings drive up number of police killed in line of duty – Shooting deaths increased 56% over previous year

In this July 25, 2016 file photo, the funeral procession for slain Baton Rouge police Corporal Montrell Jackson leaves the Living Faith Christian Center in Baton Rouge, La. Jackson, slain by a gunman who authorities said targeted law enforcement. The number of police killed in the line of duty rose sharply in 2016, driven by shootings of police around the country, most notably ambushes in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. From Jan. 1 through Wednesday, 135 officers lost their lives. Some died in traffic accidents, but nearly half were shot to death. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

LISA MARIE PANE, Associated Press 12/30 – Ambushes in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and other shootings around the country led to a sharp increase in the number of police killed in the line of duty this year.

From Jan. 1 through Wednesday, 135 officers lost their lives. Some died in traffic accidents, but nearly half were shot to death. That’s a 56 percent increase in shooting deaths over the previous year.

Of the 64 who were fatally shot, 21 were killed in ambush attacks often fueled by anger over police use of force involving minorities.

“We’ve never seen a year in my memory when we’ve had an increase of this magnitude in officer shooting deaths,” said Craig Floyd, president and chief executive of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. “These officers were killed simply because of the uniform they wear and the job they do. This is unacceptable to the humane society that we are.”

In Dallas, a sniper on July 7 attacked at the end of what had been a peaceful rally against police brutality. He killed five law enforcement officers and wounded nine others — the largest death toll among law enforcement from a single event since the 9/11 attacks, which killed 72 officers. Months later, Dallas businesses and residents still display blue ribbons and banners declaring, “We support our Dallas police officers.”

But even amid community support, the police department remains unsettled. Hundreds of officers have retired or left the force over the past six months as the city struggles to find a way to increase pay and save a failing police and fire pension system. Former Chief David Brown, who became a national figure in the aftermath, was among those who opted to retire. And interim Dallas Police Association president Frederick Frazier said that morale is “almost nonexistent.”

“A lot of us are going through the motions at work. We’re hoping things will get better with our struggle,” he said. Frazier added that the attack was a “game changer. It changed the perception of law enforcement. It reversed the role after Ferguson. We were the pursuer and now, we’re being pursued.”

Less than two weeks after the Dallas attack, a lone gunman in Baton Rouge shot and killed three officers and wounded three others outside a convenience store in the weeks after a black man, 37-year-old Alton Sterling, was shot and killed by police during a struggle.

Baton Rouge Police Cpl. Lester Mitchell was partners with Matthew Gerald, one of the three slain officers, and was among the officers who raced to the scene of the shooting that also killed sheriff’s deputy Brad Garafola and officer Montrell Jackson. Mitchell has daily reminders of the deadly shootout, driving past the scene on his way to police headquarters.

“Just passing there, you can’t help but replay it over and over again,” he said.

Mitchell said the shooting has made him more alert and aware of potential dangers on patrol, sometimes in situations that wouldn’t have alarmed him before, like a hand in a pocket. “You learn to cope with it, because if you don’t, you can drive yourself crazy,” he said.

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund’s Floyd said the impact of this year has been profound on law enforcement. Agencies are struggling to recruit officers to their ranks and those who continue to serve “talk about how their head is now on a swivel.”

“They’re always looking over their shoulder, always worrying about the next attack that could come at any time from any direction,” Floyd said.

That was underscored by the slaying in November of a San Antonio detective who was fatally shot and killed outside police headquarters as he was writing a traffic ticket. The man accused of shooting him said he was angry about a child-custody battle and simply “lashed out at somebody who didn’t deserve it.”

___

Pane reported from Atlanta. Associated Press writers Claudia Lauer in Dallas and Mike Kunzelman in Baton Rouge contributed to this report.

https://www.apnews.com/6cf478fb11a6475a9fc6c3360e41fe47/Shootings-drive-up-number-of-police-killed-in-line-of-duty

Posted in: Attacks on Police, Crime & Criminals, Line-of-Duty Deaths, Officer Safety, Police Officers Shot, Shootings, Studies & Statistics

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Terms of Use for Posting Comments

Terms of Use

This site (the “Site”) is operated and maintained by Law Enforcement Education Foundation, Corporation (“Company”). Throughout the Site, the terms “we”, “us” and “our” refer to Company.  The words “user,” “you” and “your” as used herein refer to you.

Please read these terms and conditions of use (“Terms of Use”) carefully before contributing content. If you do not agree to these Terms of Use, please do not contribute content. Your use of the Site is subject to the Terms and Conditions found here .

By contributing content to the Site, you represent and warrant that you are at least eighteen (18) years old and that you have read and understand these Terms of Use and any amendments thereto and agree to be bound by them. If you are not at least eighteen (18) years old or you do not agree and accept these Terms of Use, you are prohibited from contributing content.

From time to time, we may permit users to submit content to the Site.  You hereby acknowledge and agree that by submitting remarks, comments, suggestions, ideas, graphics, feedback, edits, concepts, comments, photographs, illustrations and other materials (other than personal information and/or registration information) through the Site (individually and collectively, “Submissions”), you (i) grant us a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, transferable, irrevocable and fully sub-licensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, translate, distribute, publish, create derivative works from and publicly display and perform such Submissions throughout the world in any media, now known or hereafter created, without attribution to you; (ii) grant us the right to pursue at law any person or entity that violates your and/or our rights in your Submissions; and (iii) forever waive any and all of your rights, including but not limited to moral rights, if any, in and to your Submissions, including, without limitation, any all rights or requirements of attribution or identification of you as the author of the Submission or any derivative thereof.  We reserve the right to remove any of your Submissions from the Site, in whole or in part, without notice to you, for any reason or no reason.

Submissions are made voluntarily. Any submissions which include personally identifiable information are subject to our Privacy Policy found here .  You may not upload or otherwise publish content on the Site that (i) is confidential to you or any third party; (ii) is untrue, inaccurate, false or other than an original work of your authorship; (iii) that relates to or impersonates any other person; (iv) violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property rights of any person or entity; (v) contains any content, personally identifiable information or other information, or materials of any kind that relate or refer to any other person or entity other than the provider of the products, goods or services to which the Submission relates; or (vi) violates any law, or in any manner infringes or interferes with the rights of others, including but not limited to the use of names, information, or materials that (A) libel, defame, or invade the privacy of any third party, (B) are obscene or pornographic, (C) are harmful, threatening, offensive, abusive, harassing, vulgar, false or inaccurate, racially, sexually, ethnically or are otherwise objectionable or otherwise contrary to the laws of any place where such Submissions may be accessed; (D) constitute personal attacks on other individuals; (E) promote criminal, immoral or illegal activity; (F) promote or advertise any person, product or service or solicit funds; or (G) are deemed confidential by any contract or policy.

You are solely responsible for any Submissions you make and their accuracy. We take no responsibility and assume no liability for any Submissions posted by you or any third party.

Unless approved by us in writing in advance, you agree not to: (i) provide or create a link to the Site; or (ii) create any frames at any other sites pertaining to any of the content located on the Site.

We reserve the right, in our discretion, to update, change or replace any part of these Terms of Use for Posting Comments by posting updates and/or changes to our Site.  It is your responsibility to check this page periodically for changes.  Your continued use of, and/or access to the Site, following the posting of any changes to these Terms of Use for Posting Comments, constitutes your acceptance of those changes.