Lauren Moye, FISM News
FBI Director Christopher Wray discussed an increase in ambush and murders of police officers on Sunday’s episode of 60 Minutes.
“Violence against law enforcement in this country is one of the biggest phenomena that I think doesn’t get enough attention,” the FBI Director began. He then pointed out that almost one officer was killed “every five days” in 2021.
According to CBS News, there was a 59% increase in murders of police officers, making for a total of 73 officers killed in the line of duty in 2021.
While explaining why the numbers were up, Wray stated, “Some of it is tied to the violent crime problem as a whole. But one of the phenomena that we saw in the last year is that an alarming percentage of the 73 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty last year were killed through things like being ambushed or shot while out on patrol.”
He states that officers’ deaths were up because their badge made them a personal target of criminals.
This is something that Wray’s law enforcement division has experienced personally, with the deaths of FBI Agents Laura Schwartzenberger and Daniel Alfin, both shot through a door before they could execute a search warrant for child pornography.
Wray’s statement is consistent with other groups that have recorded an increase in officer ambushes. The National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) found a 91% increase in ambushes during the first half of the year, a number which had jumped to 139% by the preliminary report issued at the end of the year. FOP reported 86 different ambush-style attacks that resulted in 26 officer deaths.
Although the FBI Director discussed an increase in ambushes, both host Scott Pelley and Wray did not discuss why this number has surged. FOP President Patrick Yoes did not hesitate to make his thoughts known in a November statement: “Due to lingering animosity toward law enforcement officers, overheated political rhetoric, and a decline in respect for law and order – we are seeing an increase in violence that specifically targets officers.”
The demonization of police was an unfortunate byproduct of calls for justice after several high-profile police brutality cases, such as George Floyd’s murder by white police officers, that contributed to the racial unease of 2020. The resulting calls for “Defund the Police” were noted at the time for their impact on officer morale, as well as the concern it would negatively impact law enforcement safety while they served their local communities. These concerns, it appears, have been justified by statistics.
Not only have officer ambushes risen, but the communities themselves have been made more unsafe through this rhetoric. FISM recently reported, “Data has shown that such extreme cries for defunding of the police actually brought a massive uptick in murder and black Americans were just proportionately affected.”
Several of the pioneer “Defund the Police” law enforcement reform cities have since backtracked on their movements, under pressure from surging violent crimes. President Biden and others in the Democratic party have also begun to try to distance themselves from the narrative, though several in the progressive caucus, particularly Cori Bush, have now doubled down on the faulty narrative.