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2017 sees significant increase in deaths of American cops

Early Wednesday morning, NYPD Officer Miosotis Familia was sitting in a marked command vehicle in the Bronx with her partner. A man, later identified as Alexander Bonds, 34, walked up to the van and shot Familia in the head in a totally unprovoked attack. The 48-year-old mother of 12-year-old twins and a 20-year-old son was rushed to hospital where she later died. Bonds was later found by other officers and was shot to death after he pulled out a gun. Bonds was later described as “a cop-hating schizophrenic.”

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund has provided data showing the number of police officers killed between Jan. 1 and Jul. 5 for both 2016 and 2017. Their research shows that during this time period in 2017, 67 law enforcement officers were killed on the job. This marks an increase of 18 percent over the 57 police officer fatalities that occurred during the same time period in 2016.

When these deaths were broken down into categories, increases in fatalities this year over last were up in all categories. The number of deaths caused by firearms went from 22 in 2016 to 24 in 2017, an increase of nine percent. Deaths caused by traffic-related incidents increased by 17 percent while deaths resulting from other causes increased by a third (33 percent).

During the first half of 2017 the largest number of deaths occurred in New York State (seven). New York was followed by Georgia that saw five police officers killed. Four police officers were killed in each of the states of Texas, Florida and California.

Randy Sutton, a spokesperson for Blue Lives Matter, and a former Las Vegas police officer said 50,000 American police officers were assaulted last year by different methods including firearms. Many of these assaults resulted in disabling injuries. Sutton said much of the blame can be attributed to police leadership putting political considerations ahead of officer safety. The spokesman also puts blame on the media who he said never reports anything positive about police. He also accused the media of putting a false spin on negative stories.

Famila was the seventh New York police officer to be killed this year.

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