For the last couple of years — with the arrival of the pandemic, the BLM riots after the death of George Floyd, and the growth of the anti-police movement that generated budget cuts to police departments — crime has skyrocketed in the United States. 2021, Joe Biden’s first year in office, was in fact one of the most violent years for the country in recent decades. One statistic that proves this is the disproportionate increase in police deaths on duty.
According to a Fox News report, 73 police officers were “intentionally killed” in 2021, a 59% increase over 2020, when 46 officers were killed.
The report shows that not since 1995 have so many police officers been killed in the line of duty.
For Jason Johnson, president of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund (LELDF) and police veteran, the reason for the increase in police officers killed is a mix of several factors.
“We believe it’s a combination … of the George Floyd protests — riots, if you will; a general feeling of a preference for less law enforcement; and less prosecution and less policing,” Johnson told Fox News. “Law enforcement officers have essentially been marginalized and demoralized and cast aside and encouraged not to enforce the law. And so we’ve seen massive jumps in the homicide rate in cities across America.”
Johnson also explained that this increase in police killings is natural, as it is a direct consequence of the increase in shootings and homicides in several major U.S. cities. He also noted that he expects much more support and less aversion from the Biden administration toward the institution of policing.
“Police don’t expect you to be supportive if what they’ve done is wrong,” the LELDF president said. “That’s certainly not what we’re asking for. What we asked for is that the president and the administration not make a premature, judgmental and frankly wrong comments … next time a viral video comes out.”
Nearly half of the police officers killed were in unprovoked attacks
According to a Heartland Institute report released in late January, of the 73 police officers killed in 2021, a total of 32 died in ambushes or unprovoked attacks. This surpasses all records up to 1987.
Despite the fact that in 2021 the pandemic was easing and the states opened their economies leaving behind confinement measures and generating some economic recovery, under Joe Biden’s first year homicides in the country’s major cities grew by 5% compared to 2020 and by 44% compared to 2019, according to a study by the Council on Criminal Justice (CCJ).
“While it is encouraging to see a slowdown in the recent homicide increase, the bloodshed continues, and at least 10 U.S. cities lost historic numbers of residents to murder last year,” said Thomas Abt, CCJ Council senior fellow, in a statement.
“This is not acceptable. We know there are multiple strategies with a track record of success in reducing violence. We need to break through our divisive politics and put these evidence-backed solutions in place now.”