Police fatalities resulting from shootings increased by 78 percent in the first half of 2016, according to a new study.
Thirty-two officers have been killed in firearms-related fatalities so far this year, compared to 18 deaths during the same period in 2015, reports the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF). Texas leads the country with 13 police deaths, followed by Louisiana at 7. The second leading cause of death has been traffic fatalities, according to the report. Twenty-four officers have died in traffic-related incidences, representing a 17 percent drop against the same period last year.
“The biggest concern is the sharp uptick of shooting deaths of officers,” Craig Floyd, the organization’s president, told the Wall Street Journal. Should the frequency of police deaths continue to surge at present levels, 2016 would be the deadliest year for law enforcement in decades. NLEOMF figures indicate police shootings peaked in the mid-1970s, when approximately 140 officers were killed annually. 67 law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty since the beginning of the year.
The murder of police officers in Dallas, Texas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana in ambush style attacks account for approximately half of the increase, with five down in Dallas from a sniper incident at a Black Lives Matter protest, and three down in Baton Rouge, after a lone gunman staged an ambush.
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