The killing of a Washington State police officer on July 13 marked the death of the 32nd U.S. law enforcement officer in 2020 — a year which has seen violent protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd and a 28% increase in “felonious officer deaths over the same period in 2019.” That’s according to ABC News, which cited a review of FBI data. Seven of those 32 officers were “ambushed,” the report says.
Accompanying the cries for police reform in the wake of Floyd’s death “was a rise in an anti-police sentiment that, experts say, manifested itself in attacks on officers, patrol vehicles and precinct stationhouses, leaving cops around the country feeling under siege,” ABC said.
It is unclear to some experts whether correlation necessarily means causation in the case of this year’s spike in the killings of law enforcement officers: though the Floyd death and the rise in officer deaths are temporally related, a professor of political science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York told ABC that it is probably too early to draw a direct link between the two data points.
“There is a constant search for the scapegoat for whatever is happening in the society and the scapegoat ends up being law enforcement regardless of what it is that people have grievances about,” Maria “Maki” Haberfeld told ABC.