The number of American law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty rose by 89 percent during 2014, the FBI has said in a new report. The figures come amid high tensions over police killings unarmed black men.
In its report released on Monday, the FBI said that 51 officers were slain while on duty last year, with 46 of them shot, four hit by vehicles, and one beaten to death. According to the statistic, ten of those killed died during traffic stops and pursuits, and eight were ambushed.
Another 44 police officers died in on-the-job accidents, most of them in car crashes.
The FBI report comes at a time of deepening mistrust towards law enforcement, following a series of police-related deaths of unarmed African-Americans, which in turn sparked violent riots across the US.
The deaths have prompted calls for investigations into police brutality.
FBI director James Comey called on law enforcement to do its "absolute best to try and see clearly those people we serve and to look for opportunities to have them see us."
Supporting 'the badge'
The numbers present a sharp contrast with 2013, when only 27 officers were killed in the line of duty. However, even with the sharp rise, the 2014 figures remain under the national average, which is 64 killings per year, or more then one death per week.
A police officer was killed in New York City only last week, followed by two more who were shot during a traffic stop in Mississippi on Saturday.
US Attorney General Loretta Lynch decried the Mississippi killings as "shocking" and "appalling."
"We will continue to do all that we can to protect our officers across the country and support all those who wear the badge," Lynch added.
Four men have been arrested over the incident.
dj/kms (Reuters, AFP)