Police officers in the United States have been killed feloniously every year at similar rates to unarmed suspects who were killed each year by law enforcement, federal data shows.
As anti-police riots have raged this month, a review of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) officer death records and the Washington Post‘s comprehensive data collection of unarmed suspects killed by police finds that both are killed at similar rates since at least 2015.
In the first half of 2020, for instance, 27 police officers have been feloniously killed. This is three deaths more than the 24 unarmed suspects who have been killed by police during the same period.
Of those unarmed suspects, ten were white, seven were black, three were Hispanic, and four were another race or their race was unknown.
The last year with complete data is 2019, when 48 police officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty compared to 55 unarmed suspects killed by police. Those unarmed suspects killed included 25 white suspects, 14 black suspects, and five Hispanic suspects.
The last year in which total deaths between police officers and unarmed suspects split off was 2017, when 46 police officers were feloniously killed compared to 70 unarmed suspects killed by the police.
Since 2015, though, the number of unarmed suspects killed by police has dropped by nearly 41.5 percent, while the number of police officers feloniously killed in the line of duty has increased by more than 17 percent.
The last year wherein black suspects made up a plurality of unarmed suspects killed by police was 2015, when 38 unarmed black suspects were killed compared to 32 unarmed white suspects and 19 unarmed Hispanic suspects.
While totals for unarmed suspects only date back to 2015 in the Post‘s data collection, FBI records for police officers feloniously killed have been collected since at least 1996.
The number of police officers feloniously killed since 2009 has been sporadic. The peak in the last decade came in 2011, when 72 police officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty. The number before and after then has stayed between 41 to 66 killed a year except in 2013, when the total dipped below 30 police officers killed.
Already, this year, the number of police officers feloniously killed is likely to exceed that 2013 low.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.