A man walks up to a squad car and opens fire on two sheriff's deputies sitting inside. Two police officers are shot after responding to sounds of gunfire during a protest. The shootings—one in Los Angeles and the other 2000 miles away in Louisville, Kentucky, less than two weeks later—are stark reminders of the dangers law enforcement officers face at a time when anger toward them in the wake of police killings of Black Americans, such as George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, has boiled over, the AP reports. "I think it's more than a suggestion that people are seeking to do harm to cops," Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown told reporters at a recent briefing. The suspect who shot the deputies in Los Angeles has not been caught, so it’s not known why he opened fire.
It is unclear how many times officers across the country have been shot at or otherwise attacked this year. But the few statistics available, such as those compiled by the FBI, show so far this year 37 law enforcement officers in the US have been "feloniously killed" in the line of duty compared to 30 such deaths at this point last year. Chicago police say 66 officers there have been shot at thus far this year, compared to 17 at this point last year. In demonstrations following the deaths of Black Americans, police have both been criticized by those who saw their response in many cities as heavy-handed and the target of several violent attacks. Officers have been shot at, run over, blinded, and jeered at by angry crowds who have wished for their deaths. (Chicago's police suicide rate has also risen.)