The Federal Bureau of Investigation reported today that 51 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty at the hands of criminals in 2014, while 45 other officers lost their lives in accidents.
In 2013, 27 officers lost their lives as a result of criminal acts.
The report included 2005 statistics — 55 officers killed — and 2010 statistics — 56 officers.
The average age of the officer killed in 2014 was 39 years old; all victims were male. Forty-seven of the officers were white, two were black, and two were Asian/Pacific Islander.
According to the new FBI report, “11 were killed while answering disturbance calls, nine were conducting traffic pursuits/stops, seven were ambushed, seven were investigating suspicious persons or circumstances, five were conducting investigative activities (such as surveillances, searches, or interviews), four were killed in arrest situations, four were involved in tactical situations, and three were handling persons with mental illnesses. One officer was killed in an unprovoked attack.”
Harris County (Texas) Sheriff’s Deputy Darren H. Goforth, 47, was fueling his car in August when a gunman walked up and shot him execution-style.
Thirty-three of the slain officers were killed with handguns, 10 with rifles, three with shotguns, four with vehicles, and one with “personal weapons” such as hands, fists, or feet. Six officers had their weapons stolen, and 13 officers were slain with firearms when they were 5 feet or less from the offenders. Thirty-nine of the slain officers were wearing body armor.
May was the most dangerous month for officers, while Saturday was the riskiest day of the week and the time block between midnight and 2 a.m. was the most dangerous time.
Of the 59 people alleged to have been connected to the 51 officers’ deaths, 50 had prior criminal arrests and 11 were under court supervision at the time. Five were female. Forty-two of the alleged offenders were white, 13 were black, 2 were American Indian/Alaska Native, 1 was Asian/Pacific Islander, and race was not reported for 1 offender. The average cop killer was 31 years old.
The majority of accidental deaths involved car accidents; there were two accidental shootings.
The FBI said 48,315 officers were assaulted in 2014 while performing their duties, and 28.3 percent of those were injured. The rate was nine assaults per 100 officers.
Disturbance calls such as personal disputes and bar fights accounted for the highest number of officer assaults, and hands and fists were by far the most prevalent weapons. Thirteen percent of officers attacked with knives suffered injuries, and nine percent of those attacked with firearms were hurt.