More police officers were killed by gun-wielding offenders in the southern United States than in any other region, ABC News reports.
According to FBI data, 22 officers have been killed in the southern region in 2019. In comparison, there were nine officer fatalities in both the West and the Midwest in the same period. Two officers were killed in Puerto Rico.
Maria Haberfeld, a professor of police science at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, suggested one reason may be the preponderance of guns in the south.
“You have guns; you have more violence,” she said.
Over the recent weekend, Friday through Saturday, three officers were killed—all in the south—by gunfire: Huntsville (Al.,) officer Billy Fred Clardy; Houston Police Sgt. Christopher Brewster (shot responding to a domestic violence situation); and Fayette (Ark.,) police officer Stephen Carr (shot in an ambush).
Responding to the shootings, Don Mihalek, executive vice president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Foundation, said, the recent shooters likely “decided that the way to exact their issue was to kill a cop.”
According to Officer Down Memorial page, Texas and Alabama had the most police killings by gunfire in 2019. Mihalek said, “guns were always considered bad, in the region, while in the South, it’s a normal course of life for people to own them.”
Robert Boyce, retired New York City Department Chief of Detectives and Don Mihalek agreed that there is an uptick in anti-law enforcement rhetoric around the country.
Boyce says that because of the general disrespect for law enforcement is why “attacks on police are up across the nation.”