Twenty-one police officers were killed in targeted “ambush” attacks, a 250% increase compared to 2015, according to data compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers
Of the 64 police officers shot and killed in the line of duty this year, 21 died in ambush attacks, including Deputy Sheriff Brad Garafola, Corporal Montrell Jackson, and Officer Matthew Gerard, who were ambushed by a shooter in Baton Rogue, La., in July. Only six such attacks occurred in 2015.
The total number of officers shot and killed in 2016 represents a 56 percent increased compared to the previous year. According to the Memorial Fund, the number of ambush shooting deaths this year marked a 20-year high.
The rise in officer deaths occurred during a year heightened activism and public anger surrounding a number of police shootings of unarmed black men by police officers, many of which sparked protests nationwide.
“It’s the worst year we’ve had in terms of shooting deaths in five years,” said Craig Floyd, CEO of the Memorial Fund. “It’s sad to think that our officers are being targeted simply because of the uniforms they wear and the job that they do.”
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