According to an annual report released by the nonprofit National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, the number of law enforcement officers killed by firearms in the United States jumped by 56% this year. In 2013, there were 102 firearms-related fatalities, whereas in 2014 there have been 126.
The report also details two other categories of fatalities: traffic-related and other causes. In 2014 there were 49 traffic-related fatalities, which is up 11% from 44 in 2013. Other causes that resulted in the death of a law enforcement officer rose 4% in 2014 to 27.
The states with the highest number of officer fatalities were California (14), Texas (11) and New York (9). Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Indiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia were not far behind. Altogether, 126 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in 2014.
Ambush assaults on police officers were up this year as well. 15 ambush assaults occurred in 2014, compared to just five in 2013. One of the most recent ambush style assaults were the fatal attacks on two New York City police officers on December 20th. Ismaaiyl Brinsley gunned down Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos in their patrol car after the deranged Brinsley had made hostile posts online vowing to put “wings on pigs.”
“With the increasing number of ambush-style attacks against our officers, I am deeply concerned that a growing anti-government sentiment in America is influencing weak-minded individuals to launch violent assaults against the men and women working to enforce our laws and keep our nation safe,” said chairman and CEO of the memorial fund, Craig Floyd.
The data released by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is preliminary because there still are two days left in 2014.