Number of officers killed in line of duty rose in 2016

The number of police killed in the line of duty rose sharply in 2016, driven by shootings of police around the country — most notably ambushes in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

From Jan. 1 through Wednesday, 135 officers lost their lives. Some died in traffic accidents, but nearly half of them were shot to death.

That’s a 56 percent increase in shooting deaths over the previous year. Of the 64 who were fatally shot, 21 were killed in ambush attacks, often fueled by anger over police use of force involving minorities.

Craig Floyd is president and chief executive of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Floyd says he’s never seen a year with such an increase in officer shooting deaths.

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