Violence against law enforcement officials increased dramatically in 2020, according to a Monday FBI press release. Over 60,000 assaults on law enforcement officers while in the line of duty occurred in 2020, an increase of over 4,000 from just over 56,000 on-the-job assaults in 2019, according to the press release.
During an interview last week, Director Christopher Wray reflected on the dangers that law enforcement officers face: "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." pic.twitter.com/U7PTULzGxG
— FBI (@FBI) October 18, 2021
“During an interview last week, Director Christopher Wray reflected on the dangers that law enforcement officers face: ‘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,'” said a tweet from the FBI.
Of all the officers assaulted in 2020, more than 18,500, or just over 30%, sustained injuries. Just under 44,500 assaults employed “personal weapons,” including “hands, fists, or feet,” and 25.8% of officers attacked in this manner suffered injuries.
Nearly 30% of on-the-job assaults of law enforcement officers resulted from responses to “disturbance calls such as family quarrels or bar fights,” meanwhile more than 16% followed attempted arrests by officers.
As of Tuesday, 61 law enforcement officers were fatally, feloniously wounded in 2021, according to the FBI’s Law Enforcement Data Explorer. Of those killed this year, 24 were the victims of unprovoked attacks. In 2020, just 40 officers were killed while performing their duties.
“Lingering animosity toward law enforcement officers, overheated political rhetoric, and a decline in respect for law and order results in increased violence against law enforcement officers,” National Fraternal Order of Police President Patrick Yoes said in a statement shared with the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Of greatest concern should be violence that specifically targets officers. As of October 13th, 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,” Yoes added. “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.”
But in some respects, police support is also rising.
Black Americans are growing more confident in their local police departments again after some loss of faith in 2020 during a summer and fall of riots following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May, USA Features News reported in July.
As protests and riots swelled last year, Gallup reported that blacks who said they had “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the police fell to a record low of 19%.
However, support for police among blacks has since rebounded to 27% in the latest survey, according to Gallup.
But overall confidence in police among the general American public has slipped a couple of points since last year, falling from 53% in 2020 to 51% now, Gallup reported.
“Meanwhile, White Americans’ confidence in police is unchanged from a year ago and lower than it had been before the Floyd incident,” the polling said.
[Daily Caller News Foundation contributed to this report.]