There have been 101 police officers shot this year while on duty as of April 1, a 63 percent increase from 2020, according to the latest figures released by a police union, which also includes numbers for premeditated ambushes along with a state-by-state data breakdown.
With more than 364,000 members, the National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) is considered the largest police union in the country.
“There have been 19 ambush-style attacks on law enforcement officers this year (36 percent from 2021 YTD),” a recent report released by the FOP reads. These have resulted in 35 officers being shot, “5 of whom were killed by gunfire.”
“All across the country, our communities are seeing the real-life consequences of unchecked crime,” National FOP President Patrick Yoes said in a March 28 statement. “In addition, violence directed at law enforcement officers is skyrocketing—it’s the worst I have seen in my 36 years in law enforcement.”
In 2022, 17 officers have been killed as of April 1. The total number killed last year was 63, an increase of more than 34 percent from 2020. In 2021, 346 police officers were shot.
According to the report, Arizona, with 12, tops the list for the most officers shot in the line of duty this year. Texas followed with nine, then Missouri with eight, followed by New York and Georgia with seven each.
One of the worst kinds of attacks are those coming from premeditated ambushes that were perpetrated without any warnings and intended to deprive officers of their ability to defend themselves, according to the FOP. This has been attributed to a “desensitization to evil acts” that were once considered to be taboo.
In January, New York police officer Wilbert Mora, 27, and Detective Jason Rivera, 22, were fatally shot while responding to a domestic dispute. The officers were responding to a call by a woman who claimed that she needed help with her adult son.
The son, Lashawn McNeil, who was suffering from mental health issues, according to the mother, opened fire at the officers as they walked into the house. The incident received nationwide attention.
On Feb. 11, a domestic dispute in Arizona led to a shootout, injuring nine police officers and killing one suspect together with a female victim.
“I cannot recall an incident in city history where so many officers were injured,” Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said during a press conference near the crime scene at 5400 West Elwood St. in South Phoenix.
On April 3, a shooting rampage took place in Sacramento, California, with at least 12 people being injured and six killed.
“Words can’t express my shock & sadness this morning. The numbers of dead and wounded are difficult to comprehend. We await more information about exactly what transpired in this tragic incident,” Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg wrote in a Twitter post.
Yoes said in his statement, “When police are viewed as the bad guys, criminals feel emboldened. When rogue prosecutors hand out slaps on the wrist to serious offenders, criminals understand they will face no significant consequences for their actions.
“And when police are handcuffed by policies established by local officials and told not to enforce certain crimes, traffic codes, or other quality-of-life regulations, you create an environment in which the criminals feel safe and our citizens are scared.”