Seventy-two law enforcement officers in the U.S. were feloniously killed in the line of duty last year, up from 56 in 2010, the FBI said today. The toll was higher than that of five years ago, 58 in 2007, and a decade ago, 56 in 2002. Another 53 officers died in accidents while performing their duties, and 54,774 officers were assaulted in the line of duty (up from 53,469 the previous year).
Of the 72 officers feloniously killed, 23 died as a result of arrest situations, 15 were ambushed, 11 were involved in performing traffic pursuits/stops, nine were involved in tactical situations, and seven were answering disturbance calls. Five of the slain officers were investigating suspicious persons/circumstances; one was conducting an investigative activity, and one was killed while transporting or maintaining the custody of prisoners. Offenders used firearms to kill 63 of the 72 victim officers. Seventy-seven alleged assailants were identified in connection with the 72 felonious deaths. Sixty-four of the assailants had prior criminal arrests, and 17 of the offenders were under judicial supervision at the time of the incidents.