More than 60,000 police and law enforcement officers were assaulted on the job in 2020 – up by more than 4,000 from the prior year, recent FBI statistics show.
There were 60,105 officers assaulted in the line of duty in 2020, with 30.9% of them – 18,568 – suffering injuries as a result, the FBI said in a press release on Monday. The total number of officers assaulted jumped by 4,071 from 2019, when 56,034 line-of-duty assaults were reported, the FBI said.
Data show the majority of officers – 44,421 – were assaulted by individuals who used "personal weapons," such as their fists, hands or feet, while 2,744 were assaulted with firearms, 1,180 with knives "or other cutting instruments" and the remainder attacked using "other types of dangerous weapons."
In the plurality of instances, 29.6%, the officers were responding to calls about disturbances, "such as family quarrels or bar fights," the FBI said. The second-highest instance in which officers were assaulted was when they were attempting other arrests, authorities said.
Data released so far this year paints a similarly grim picture.
Fifty-four law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the first nine months of the year – a 45.9% increase jump from the 37 officers killed year over year, the agency said. All but three of the nine months in 2021 saw higher felonious law enforcement deaths than the same month in 2020.
According to the FBI, 59 law enforcement officers have been mortally wounded this year as of Oct. 12, with 23 falling victim to unprovoked attacks.
In a statement provided to Fox News on Tuesday, Patrick Yoes, national president of the Fraternal Order of Police, attributed the uptick in violence against law enforcement officers to "lingering animosity toward law enforcement officers, overheated political rhetoric, and a decline in respect for law and order."
As of October 13th, Yoes said, "100 law enforcement officers were shot in 81 separate ambush-style attacks in just this year – a 153% increase from this time in 2020."
"Despite all the adversity, our nation’s law enforcement officers continue to put themselves in harm’s way to protect and serve the communities that we love, but they need our help," he continued. "I am renewing our calls to enact the "Protect and Serve Act," which addresses the troubling increases in violence targeting officers and which will better protect the men and women who wear the badge."
During an interview last week, which was later shared on the FBI's Twitter page, FBI Director Christopher Wray said: "Law enforcement officers these days are dealing with a whole range of threats at a time when, in many ways, the job is more dangerous than ever."
He later added: "The dangers are very real and constant."
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