51 US police officers killed last year, an 89% increase: FBI
Amid growing tensions between police and American citizens, the number of US police officers who died while on duty increased significantly last year compared to the year before, according to statistics released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
A total of 51 officers were killed in 2014, an 89 percent increase from 2013, when 27 officers were killed, data from the FBI showed Monday.
Of the 2014 death toll, firearms were used in 46 of the 51 police killings. Four officers were killed with vehicles used as weapons and one was killed during a hand-to-hand confrontation.
The deaths included 11 officers killed while responding to disturbance calls, 10 who died during traffic pursuits or stops and eight killed as a result of ambushes.
A further 44 officers died accidentally in the line of duty in 2014, compared with 49 in 2013.
The annual average of police deaths was 64 between 1980 and 2014, making the 2013 total the lowest in the 35 years since records were kept.
The figures come amid increasing tensions between US law enforcement officers and black communities following a series of deaths of unarmed African American men by white police officers.
Analysts believe tensions between police and citizens have reached an all-time high over the past several months. Large-scale protests have been triggered around the country against police brutality and racial injustice in the past year.
Nearly 1,500 people were killed by police in the past 16 months, according to data collected by an activist group known as Killed By Police.
The actual figure, however, could be much higher than 1,500, as it only includes confirmed police killings.
The activist group, which was founded on May 1, 2013, uses corporate news reports to log the number of people killed by nonmilitary law enforcement officers, whether in the line of duty or not, and regardless of reason or method.