UPDATED 12:35 PM PT – Monday, June 21, 2021
New data released from the FBI reported law enforcement officer deaths have increased 39 percent in the past five months in comparison to the same time last year. The report included 39 officers who were killed since May 31.
FBI Director Christopher Wray thanked the nation’s law enforcement officers last month for their continued dedication to keep citizens safe and gave his condolences to the families who lost a loved one while on the line of duty.
“2020 was one of the deadliest years for law enforcement in our nations history and sadly 2021 is looking grim too,” he expressed. “We’ve lost beloved colleagues to line of duty deaths, from gunfire and car crashes, and our people have faced a significant new risk from COVID.”
This day in history: Join ODMP in remembering Policeman Thomas Scebbi of the Los Angeles Police Department, California. End of Watch: Friday, June 20, 1958 #LEO #officerdown #rememberthefallen #alwaysremembered https://t.co/X9fIIAquDK
— ODMP.org (@ODMP) June 20, 2021
The Officer Down Memorial Page reported 366 officers lost their lives on the line of duty last year. Many officers and law enforcement officials have contributed the rising number to the tense relationship between officers and the communities they serve as defund the police movements swept the nation. The increase came as preliminary data from the FBI showed a 25 percent increase in murders in 2020.
Republican governors across the nation have signed pieces of legislation to obstruct local governments from defunding law enforcement agencies. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Ky.) signed an antiriot bill in April to make sure law enforcement in the Sunshine State continued to have the financial backing to keep its residents safe.
Today, surrounded by our state’s law enforcement community, I proudly signed HB 1 into law, which makes clear that rioting and violence have absolutely no place in Florida and provides protections for the brave men and women who keep our communities safe. pic.twitter.com/ULs6cx8xzy
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) April 19, 2021
“This bill actually prevents against local governments defunding law enforcement. We’ll be able to stop it at the state level,” he explained. “If you look at some of these places that have done this, they’ve already seen crime go up even just diverting some of the funding to this.”
In addition, Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) and Gov. Brian Kemp (R-Ga.) have also signed bills that aim to block defund the police efforts.