In the five-day period between October 10 and 14, at least 13 law enforcement officers from agencies across the United States were shot, five of them fatally. The week of violence is part of an overall trend of increasing attacks on officers, which have risen more than 5% over the same period last year — putting 2022 on track to surpass 2021’s record-setting tally.
According to the National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), 252 officers were shot in the line of duty through September of this year, 50 of whom were killed. “The spewing of anti-police rhetoric by some political and media figures as well as the failed policies of rogue prosecutor and judges are placing our officers in greater danger,” the organization said in a tweet on October 13 in response to the latest wave of attacks on officers. “This culture of lawlessness must stop!”
In Mississippi, Greenville Police Department Detective Myiesha Stewart was killed on October 11 as she and other officers responded to a call.
The next day, three Philadelphia officers were shot and wounded as a SWAT team attempted to arrest a man wanted on a homicide charge. On the same day in Decatur, Illinois, Sergeant Timothy Wittmer and Officer Austin Bowman were shot and wounded when a suspect opened fire during a traffic stop.
That night in Connecticut, Bristol Police Sergeant Dustin DeMonte and Officer Alex Hamzy were killed and Officer Alec Iurato was wounded after they were apparently drawn into an ambush by an emergency call reporting possible domestic violence. A preliminary report from the state’s Office of the Inspector General found that the suspect fired more than 80 rounds and attacked the officers from behind.
In Davenport, Florida, that same night, Polk County Sheriff’s Deputy Harodis “Tony” Nunez was saved by his bulletproof vest after being shot in the chest six times while investigating a report of a family disturbance at a local home.
Hours later, in the early hours of October 13, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Officer Truong Thai was shot and killed while responding to calls about a man wearing a Halloween mask brandishing a handgun.
In Raleigh, North Carolina, later that day, off-duty Police Officer Gabriel Torres was on his way to work when he was killed in a mass shooting by a 15-year-old gunman who also killed four other people and wounded two others, including a responding officer.
“I’m outraged. I’m disgusted. I’m wondering where the level of outrage and upset is outside of the law enforcement community,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said of the attacks against her department’s officers and others throughout the country. “Right now things are wrong because the level of violence that we’re seeing against our law enforcement officers is just beyond outrageous.”
Adding that officers are aware of the risks of the job but do not sign up to be martyrs, Outlaw called on communities to respond to the crisis. “It has to go beyond people like myself, police chiefs or superintendents or commissioners that are speaking out against this. Everyone has to come together and recognize that violence against our police officers is intolerable just as violence in other parts of our communities is intolerable as well.”