The number of police officers shot and killed in the USA is 44% higher than at this time last year following the Dallas ambush Thursday night that left five officers dead, according to data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
The deaths of four Dallas police officers and one Dallas transit officer from sniper fire during a protest in the city Thursday raised the national total of firearm deaths among police to 26. This compares with 18 at this point in time in 2015, said Nick Breul, director of research for the fund in Washington, D.C.
Breul said it was also the latest of 11 ambushes of police officers so far this year across the country, already outpacing the eight ambushes of law enforcement that occurred last year.
“That’s certainly a concern for us. It’s troubling and it’s something that we watch,” Breul, a former Washington, D.C., police officer, said about the shootings. “It’s really an assassination. You’re taking advantage of an officer and you’re ensuring that you’re able to kill them through them either being vulnerable or through a complete surprise attack.”