More officers are getting attacked across the nation, FBI data shows

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy Brandon Shirley is now one of the 83 officers who have died in the line of duty so far this year in the United States.
Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 6:16 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 5, 2021 at 7:37 PM CDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy Brandon Shirley is now one of the 83 officers who have died in the line of duty so far this year in the United States.

Over half of those deaths occurred when responding to incidents or conducting investigations. According to the FBI, 15 of those were killed in unprovoked attacks. The agency cited this as a serious concern, since unprovoked attacks have outpaced all other circumstances where officers were killed while working.

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Police said the deputy, identified as Brandon Shirley, 26, was in uniform inside of his...
Police said the deputy, identified as Brandon Shirley, 26, was in uniform inside of his personal vehicle when someone walked up and shot him.(Jefferson County Sheriff's Office)

One other officer has been ambushed and killed this year and six were fatally ambushed last year, which the FBI defines as premeditated attacks.

It was a particularly tragic year for law enforcement who continued to serve throughout the pandemic, with 145 people dying from COVID.

It’s also the attacks that stand out. The number of officers shot in 2020 was 312 — up 14% from the previous year. Those numbers include two LMPD Officers who were shot during protests in downtown Louisville.

The circumstances behind Shirley’s death are so far unknown as detectives work to catch the killers. Nonetheless, there is one statistic that gives some hope that justice may be handed down to the families of law enforcement victims killed — 97% of the cases have been solved so far.

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