Fifty-one law enforcement officers were “feloniously” killed in the line of duty last year, the FBI announced Monday, a steep jump from the year before. The new data comes a week after the fatal shooting of a New York City police officer and two days after two officers in Hattiesburg, Miss., were shot and killed.
That figure represents an 89% increase from the 27 recorded in 2013, which the FBI called the lowest between 1980 and 2014, but remains below the average of 64 for that period. Eleven of the slain officers were killed while responding to disturbance calls; 10 during traffic stops or pursuits; and eight from ambushes. Firearms were behind 46 of the 51 killings, including one officer who had his own weapon turned against him. A vehicle was used in four of the deaths, the FBI added, and one assailant killed an officer with “personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.).”
Another 44 officers were accidentally killed in the line of duty as a result of incidents like car crashes, shootings and smoke inhalation. That’s down from 49 in 2013.