Violence against police officers has accelerated over the past several years. Rick Sobey of the Boston Herald reports that so far this year, 59 police officers have been murdered in the line of duty, a 51% increase from over the same period in 2020. For all of last year, 46 police officers were murdered. Most of the officers were killed while responding to domestic calls (29.6%), while over 16% died while attempting an arrest and 8.4% died during traffic stops or pursuits. FBI data indicate that murders of police over the first three quarters of 2021 are more than for the four full years since 2016, and are on pace to exceed the 72 officers murdered in 2011. The FBI Special Agent in Charge in Boston told reporters, “the percent of unprovoked attacks (on officers) has significantly risen…The unprovoked attacks, combined with pursuits, tactical situations and ambushes, have been the cause for 74% of the felonious deaths so far this year. In 2020, those four circumstances represented 28% of the deaths.” More than 60,000 officers were assaulted last year which is over 4,000 more assaults than in 2019. Of that number 18,568 were injured. Protecting the public with a target on your back is increasingly dangerous for those willing to risk their lives on our behalf.
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