Across the US in 2020, 60,105 law enforcement officers were physically assaulted in the line of duty, with approximately 31 percent of them sustaining injuries.
This represents an increase of 4071 incidents compared to the year 2019. The study is comprehensive, taking in data from 9895 different law enforcement agencies.
According to ABC News, most of these types of attacks occur when officers have to respond to an incident that has already turned violent, such as a fight in a bar or a domestic incident at a private residence.
"Police officers across the country are facing an increase in violent crime and violent acts committed against them," commented Laura Cooper, the Major Cities' Chiefs Association executive chair.
"Facing these dangerous situations is another reason why it has been difficult for police agencies to find recruits who want to put on a uniform and put their lives on the line."
Perhaps even more alarming is the increase in deaths from 2020 to 2021, which is even more pronounced. In 2020, there were a total of 40 officer deaths in the line of duty. In 2021, so far, there have been 54, whereas by this time in 2020, there had been only 37.
At least 20 of these attacks were completely unprovoked. In fact, these sorts of ambush attacks on officers appear to be up almost 100 percent this year.
One such extremely shocking incident involved the shooting death in Chicago of officer Ella French, who was only 29 years old at the time.