The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent


2021 Saw Most Cops Killed Feloniously on the Job since 9/11

FBI Director Wray on "The Cops Who Didn't Come Home"


Murder rates are up. Apparently cop-killing is as well.

From an op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal by FBI Director Christopher Wray:

Baltimore Police Officer Keona Holley, ambushed while alone in her car, died on Christmas Eve. Five days later in Illinois, Wayne County Sheriff's Deputy Sean Riley was killed during a call for assistance. On Dec. 30, also in Illinois, Bradley Police Department Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic was shot while attempting to locate the owner of dogs left in a car. And on New Year's Eve, Cleveland Police Officer Shane Bartek was killed in an attempted carjacking.

These four murders brought the total number of officers feloniously killed in the line of duty in 2021 to 73, the highest annual number since the 9/11 attacks. That's the equivalent of one officer murdered every five days. In a year when homicides and violent crime reached distressing levels, this 20-year high hasn't received the attention it deserves.

Especially troubling is that a record number of officers killed—nearly half—had no engagement with their assailant before the attack.

The full op-ed is here.