2014: A Violent Year for Cops


A Significant Increase in Officer-Directed Violence

Ron Martinelli, Ph.D., CMI-V

Copyright © October 21, 2015

          Yesterday’s release of its report on Law Enforcement Officers Killed/Assaulted (LEOKA) for 2014 shows as I predicted a significant increase in incidents of officer-directed violence upon police officers. Last year, 51 police officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty. This is a staggering 53% increase over 2013’s relatively lower statistic of 27 officers feloniously killed on duty.

The 2014 LEOKA stats continued to demonstrate that officers are predominately killed with suspects armed with firearms. During the past three years 2012 – 2014, over 90% of police officers were feloniously killed with suspects using guns. Also as predicted, the vast majority of suspects who murder officers have prior criminal backgrounds.

One statistic that I find remarkable is a 62% increase in officers being fatally shot by ambush since 2013. Based upon the officer killed scenarios I have reviewed this year, I predict that figure to climb from the 2014 statistic when the FBI’s 2015 LEOKA statistics are released next year.

So why this significant increase in officer-directed violence? As a criminologist who is involved daily in the investigation and analysis of officer-involved violence, I will opine that over the past three years certain opportunistic individuals and political action groups have deliberately

created circumstances through the use of false narratives and a supportive, under-informed and biased media to stir up anti-police sentiment to the point where it is far more common place to resist police detention and arrest; and to violently assault police officers.

When politically expedient so-called “leaders” such as President Obama, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, and Al Sharpton rally their base and make specious, speculative and uninformed statements that police are “stupid,” oppressive; and then infer that their enforcement actions are racially motivated; they create an anti-police atmosphere in communities where the police experience their most serious policing challenges.

More dangerously, those who are the isolated and deeply troubled “ticking time bombs;” and those directly connected with or supportive of radical, militant anti-police groups such as the Black Lives Matter movement, take in the violent and/or BLM style anti-police rhetoric and the publically disparaging comments made by our politicians and suddenly explode in acts of violent rage against our officers. In 2014- 2015 years alone we have seen several deliberate acts of extreme violence perpetrated by this suspect profile who ambushed and murdered police officers in New York, Texas and other states.

Politicians, the media and members of the Black Lives Matter and similar types radical, militant movements seeking “changes” in policing need to understand that there are unintended consequences to forwarding false narratives about police encounters with the public. Individuals who make irresponsible and factually unsupported claims that police are racist and more often than not apply “extrajudicial uses of force” against the minority community do those communities no favors. Their provocative statements ultimately become a self-fulfilling prophecy when we subsequently see marked increases in public resistance and violent assaults upon police; which in turn results in serious uses of defensive force by them.

The glaring 2014 LEOKA statistics documenting a severe increase in officers murdered in the line of duty; our nation’s current state of political turmoil; and the polarization between the minority community and law enforcement provide ample evidence that you reap what you sew.

About the Author

Ron Martinelli, Ph.D., CMI-V, BCFT, CFA, is a forensic criminologist and Certified Medical Investigator who directs the nation’s only Forensic Death Investigations & Independent review Team. Dr. Martinelli, is a retired police detective who specializes in the investigation of police-involved death cases. His law enforcement/forensic social media site is found at http://www.DrRonMartinelli.com


FBI Law Enforcement Officers Killed/Assaulted (LEOKA) statistics, 2014