law enforcement deaths

Intentional Killings of Law Enforcement Highest in 20 Years: 2021 Report

New statistics released by the FBI for the year of 2021 show 73 officers were intentionally killed in the line of duty.

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In 2021, the United States saw the highest number of law enforcement officers intentionally killed in the line of duty in nearly 20 years, not including during 9/11.

New statistics released by the FBI for the year of 2021 show 73 officers were intentionally killed in the line of duty. Sixty-one of those involved a gun.

Alex Piquero, criminology professor from the University of Miami, attributes the number to the increase in violence we are seeing across the country.

"We saw a very significant spike in community gun violence in the United States. Not in Europe, not in Canada, not in Australia … but in the United States," Piquero said.

Former Police Chief Jorge Colina for the City of Miami also weighed in.

"That trust of the police has been eroding," Colina said. "I think there’s less penalties when you commit a crime, a violent crime, a crime against an officer.” 

In 2021, South Florida saw three officers shot and killed in the line of duty. On Feb. 2, FBI special agents Laura Shwartzenberger and Daniel Alfin were killed during a raid in Sunrise.

Then, in October, Hollywood Police Officer Yandy Chirino was also laid to rest after he was shot and killed while responding to a call. A teenager was indicted on a first-degree murder charge.

Colina said he believes the penalties against these crimes need to be more significant.

“I think as a whole, not just prosecutors, but in general, we need to say it is unacceptable, violence against police officers," Colina said. "Because they’re out there risking their lives to protect society in general.” 

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