“The attack on our Dallas police is an attack on our country. Our whole nation is in mourning. Yet we have also seen increasing threats against our police and a substantial rise in the number of officers killed in the line of duty,” Trump said this week in Virginia Beach.
He’s wrong. According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 2013-2015 have the fewest officer deaths in the line of duty since 2000.
The long term trend is a steep decline in officers killed in the line of duty. Total law enforcement fatalities for 2013 was only 109 killed, the lowest since 1956. Here is a graph from the good people at FactCheck.org:
So in the immediate aftermath of the worst loss of law enforcement life since 9/11, there is a slight spike in officer deaths by firearms. Loss of life of officers by all means is static in 2016 year to date as compared to 2015. As of July 13, 2016 there have been 60 law enforcement death versus 59 in the same time in 2015.
The Trump campaign released an annotated speech and they reference a USA Today article citing a 44% rise in officers that were killed by firearms in 2016 to date, compared to this time in 2015. Trump only referenced officers killed in the line of duty, and did not mention firearms. Those numbers include the officers killed in Dallas.