Police Were Assaulted Nearly 60,000 Times In 2016

Anders Hagstrom | Justice Reporter

Nearly 60,000 officers across the United States were assaulted in the line of duty in 2016, according to FBI statistics released Monday.

The FBI released its annual report on law enforcement officers killed or assaulted and showed that 118 officers died or were killed and 57,180 were assaulted in 2016, roughly one in 10. The report shows a shocking spike in assaults since 2015, when 50,000 officers were assaulted and 86 were killed. The total for assaults is the highest since 2009 and the death total is the highest since 2008. The report comes just weeks after the FBI reported that national violent crime had risen for a second consecutive year.

Of the 118 deaths, 66 officers were killed by criminals and the remaining 52 died in accidents. Of those killed by criminals, the largest number (17) were victims of ambush attacks, while 13 were killed responding to emergency calls.

Of the 57,180 assaults, 28 percent resulted in injuries and 78 percent of assailants punched or kicked officers but did not use weapons. Firearms and knives were used in six percent of assaults, with improvised weapons making up the remaining 16 percent.

“For the sake of all Americans, we must confront and turn back the rising tide of violent crime. And we must do it together,” Sessions said in response to continued rise in crime. “The Department of Justice is committed to working with our state, local, and tribal partners across the country to deter violent crime, dismantle criminal organizations and gangs, stop the scourge of drug trafficking, and send a strong message to criminals that we will not surrender our communities to lawlessness and violence.”

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