According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Crime Data Explorer, more police officers were feloniously killed in 2021 than in any year since 2011.
CNN reports that 2021 “marks the highest total recorded by the agency since 1995, excluding the 9/11 attacks.”
73 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in 2021, which is a “58.7 percent increase compared to the 46 officers killed in 2020, and the highest total since 2011,” according to the report.
“Of the 73 felonious deaths in 2021, 61 involved firearms, 6 involved vehicles used as weapons, and 4 involved personal weapons,” the report states.
24 of the deaths were the result of “unprovoked attacks,” which the report says is of concern “because this circumstance significantly outpaced all other felonious officer deaths in 2021 and reached the highest total in over 30 years of reporting.”
“257 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty from illnesses related to COVID-19, 17 officers died due to heart attacks, 3 officers succumbed to cancer, 1 officer died due to other natural causes, and 1 officer died from conditions associated with responding to the terrorist attacks of 9/11.”
Since the protests and riots that rocked multiple cities across the United States following the death of George Floyd in May 2020, and the subsequent calls by many Leftists to defund the police, sentiment toward law enforcement officers has vacillated. However, according to a September 2021 Pew Research survey, favor toward the police seems to be rebounding from previous lows.
When Pew asked about police funding in 2020, 12% of respondents said it should be “decreased a lot,” 14% said “decreased a little,” and only 11% said “increased a lot.”
In 2021, however, the numbers shifted pretty dramatically. Only 6% said funding should be “decreased a lot,” 9% said “decreased a little,” and 21% said “increased a lot.”
The view of minorities regarding police funding has changed significantly as well.
“Since 2020, the views of Black Americans and Democrats have changed more than the views of White and Hispanic adults and Republicans when it comes to decreasing funding for local police,” Pew reports. “The share of Black adults who say police spending in their area should be decreased has fallen 19 percentage points since last year (from 42% to 23%), including a 13-point decline in the share who say funding should be decreased a lot (from 22% to 9%). The share of White and Hispanic adults who say funding for local police should be decreased also declined over this period, but not as much.”
Additionally, Pew notes that while 41% of Democrats, as well as those who “lean” Democrat, had in 2020 suggested a decrease in funding, just 25% do in 2021. Democrats and “lean” Democrats who wanted an increase in funding jumped from 19% to 34%.