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Thursday, January 22, 2015

More Cops Getting Killed on the Job, With 56% Rise in Gun Fatalities, Advocacy Group Says

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U.S. law-enforcement deaths rose to the highest in three years, led by a 56 percent increase in the number killed by gunfire, a pro-police group said, leaving officers on edge across the nation after the ambush of two New York City cops and shots near a squad car in Los Angeles.

This year, 126 federal, state and local officers have died in the line of duty, according to data compiled and released today by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. That’s up from 102 last year. Fifty were shot, compared with 32 in 2013.

Police have been on heightened alert as protests rocked the nation over the killings of unarmed black men by white police officers in Missouri and New York. Grand juries refused to indict officers in either case. Demonstrations flared into violence in some places, confronted by authorities including police in riot gear.

“I’m deeply concerned that a growing anti-government sentiment in America is influencing weak-minded individuals to launch violent assaults against the men and women working to enforce our laws and keep our nation safe,” Craig Floyd, the memorial fund’s chairman, said in a telephone interview. “Enough is enough. We need to tone down the rhetoric and rally in support of law enforcement and against lawlessness.”

This year, 49 of the 126 deaths, or more than one-third, came in traffic accidents. Twenty-four more were from job-related illnesses such...

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