Anti-police sentiment has its consequences. Those consequences can be tallied in numbers — although the human cost that lurks behind them can’t be quantified.
What we can tell you about the numbers is this: in the first two months of 2021, 45 law enforcement officers were shot. Eleven suffered fatal injuries.
Those statistics come from the National Fraternal Order of Police, which released the figures on Monday.
Perhaps most startling of the statistics was the fact that 13 officers were shot in 10 different ambush attacks.
???The violence against the brave men and women of law enforcement continues. Just two months into 2021:
⚠️ 45 officers shot
⚠️ 11 officers killed by gunfire
⚠️ 13 officers shot in 10 separate ambush attacks
— National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) (@GLFOP) March 1, 2021
According to data from the Officer Down Memorial Page, eight officers were killed by gunfire in the first two months of 2020.
Furthermore, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund reported that all deaths in the line of duty were up significantly over 2020 in every category.
It isn’t as if we’re coming off of a good year, either. As CNN reported, 2020 was one of the deadliest years on record for law enforcement officers.
While part of that was due to COVID-19, that didn’t entirely account for the 96 percent jump between the 135 who died in the line of duty in 2019 and the 264 who died in 2020.
And in just the past few days, we’ve seen how far the rot has spread.
In New Orleans on Friday, a police officer working security for a high-school basketball game, Tulane University Police Cpl. Martinus Mitchum, was fatally shot in the chest after he refused admittance to an individual who wouldn’t put on a mask, according to The Associated Press. John Shallerhorn, 35, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder of a policeman.
Earlier on Friday in Stanley, Virginia, 48-year-old Officer Dominic “Nick” Winum was shot and killed during a traffic stop. Sheriff’s deputies would shoot and kill the alleged murderer, 29-year-old Dakota G. Richards, after he fled and “made a threatening movement,” according to CNN.
On Monday in Georgia, Lt. Justin Bedwell of the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office succumbed to injuries he sustained in a shooting on Saturday.
Our prayers go to the family, both blood & blue, of Lt. Justin Bedwell of the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office who died this morning after being shot in the line of duty. He paid the ultimate sacrifice, and we thank him for his service. ⚫️?⚫️ pic.twitter.com/RfOfN7mQd6
— GA Bureau of Investigation (@GBI_GA) March 1, 2021
When the suspects stopped the car in front of a house and tried to break in unsuccessfully, one of them shot and killed Bedwell in his car. Brad Phillips and Troy Phillips were both eventually arrested and charged with felony murder and a litany of other charges.
Bedwell’s death wouldn’t have been included in the statistics, however, since he died on Monday.
Troy Arthur Phillips has been arrested and is in custody. pic.twitter.com/QXr5WFNBoI
— GA Bureau of Investigation (@GBI_GA) February 28, 2021
We’ve seen a year of unrest where police officers have been overworked. Many are leaving the profession. Crime is up, morale is down.
“Defund the police” isn’t the popular slogan it once was, but that’s just because it doesn’t win elections. Politicians scapegoat law enforcement. Those who support our men and women in uniform risk being called racist.
These statistics are alarming, sure. The worst part? This can — and likely will — get worse.
And yet, the only time the media wants to bring the cameras and the big personalities out is when a police officer kills someone else, justified or not. Then we get chyrons about how citizens are dealing with it in fiery but “mostly peaceful” ways.
That’s where we are in 2021.
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