According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, the number of police killed in the line of duty has skyrocketed 39% in 2017.
So far, 50 police officers have been killed in 2017—including 16 who were killed due to gunfire. At this time in 2016, just 36 officers had been killed.
A likely reason for the increase is the wave of Black Lives Matter protests over the past year—protests that revolved around a handful of incidents where white cops shot unarmed black men. The protests have had the effect of demonizing police officers.
President Trump highlighted police killings during a speech at a memorial ceremony on Monday for fallen police officers, at the start of National Police Week in Washington.
“We are living through an era in which our police have been subject to unfair defamation and vilification, and even worse… hostility and violence,” Trump told the crowd. “More officers were slain last year in ambushes than in any year in more than two decades.”
Trump, who has repeatedly praised law enforcement and criticized President Obama’s lack of commitment to police, also had the White House lit up in blue lights—in honor of the men and women keeping America’s streets safe.
Originally published by American Action News.