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FBI: 73 officers killed in 2021; 24 died in unprovoked attacks

The FBI released data on the number of police officers killed in the line of duty in 2021.
The FBI released data on the number of police officers killed in the line of duty in 2021.(Source: Associated Press)
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 5:38 PM PDT
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(Gray News) – In 2021, 129 law enforcement officers lost their lives in the line of duty, according to data released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Of this total, 73 officers were killed while 56 officers died in accidents.

The FBI said 27 more officers were killed in 2021 than in 2020, when 46 officers were killed as a result of criminal acts.

The deaths occurred in 28 states as well as Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

Compared to data from 2012, the nearly 10-year difference is an increase of 24 deaths.

According to the 2021 data, the average age of officers who were killed was 39, and the victims served an average of 12 years in law enforcement during the time of the fatal incidents.

Of the 73 officers:

  • 68 were male
  • 5 were female
  • 60 were white
  • 9 were Black
  • 4 were of an unidentified race

The circumstances surrounding the deaths of the officers who were killed include:

  • 24 officers killed in attacks that were not provoked through investigative or enforcement action
  • 9 officers died as a result of investigative or enforcement activities
  • 1 was investigating a wanted person
  • 8 were ambushed (entrapment/premeditation)
  • 8 were involved in pursuits
  • 7 were responding to disorders or disturbances
  • 6 were involved in tactical situations
  • 4 were involved in arrest situations
  • 2 were responding to crimes in progress
  • 1 was assisting other officers
  • 1 was attempting to serve a court order
  • 1 was out of service or unavailable
  • 1 was responding to the report of a crime
  • 1 was providing deploying equipment

The FBI said offenders had used firearms to kill 61 of the 73 officers. Six were killed with vehicles used as weapons and four were killed by perpetrators without weapons.

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