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FBI Report Details 'Alarming' Rise In Attacks On Law Enforcement

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Assaults on law enforcement in the line of duty increased across the United States last year, according to a new report with data compiled by the FBI.

Four-thousand more officers were attacked in 2020 compared to 2019. Thirty-percent of those resulted in injuries. And it shows Minnesota's numbers follow the national trend.

"This year's data does tell a very alarming story for us," said Michael Paul, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Minneapolis Field Office.

Officers across the country are facing more violence against them, with a 7% jump in 2020. The majority were attacked responding to disturbance calls or while attempting to make an arrest.

"This goes along with that uptick in general violence. It may also have to do with perceptions of law enforcement in our communities," Paul said.

Minnesota is also seeing an increase. Last year, 687 officers reported an assault while on the job, compared to 439 the year before.

The use of a firearm quadrupled.

Police Crime Scene Generic
(credit: CBS)

"Sometimes these are weapons that we would anticipate: firearms, edged weapons, knives. But also they can certainly be assaults just using human power or weapons that might just be available at the given time of the attack," Paul said.

This year's stats show law enforcement deaths are already up more than 50% compared to this time last year, including a Red Lake Nation Police Officer shot and killed in Minnesota in July.

"We need to have sort of a common resolve that violence is not acceptable, whether it's against a community members, or it's against law enforcement or the rule of law," Paul said.

The report also notes 183 officers have died following medical conditions this year. That includes 169 from illnesses related to COVID-19.

Click here to get a look at the full report.

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