The number of law enforcement officers killed by firearms in the US jumped by 56pc this year and included 15 ambush assaults, according to a report released yesterday.
The annual report by the non-profit National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund found that 50 officers were killed by guns this year, compared to 32 in 2013.
In all, the report found that 126 federal, local, tribal and territorial officers were killed in the line of duty in 2014. That's a 24pc jump from last year's 102 on-duty deaths. Shootings were the leading cause of officer deaths in 2014 followed by traffic-related fatalities, at 49.
The sharp increase in gun-related deaths among officers followed a dramatic dip in 2013, when the figure fell to levels not seen since the 19th century. This year's rise comes amid increased tension between police and the public following the high-profile deaths of unarmed black men by white police officers, including that of Eric Garner in New York and Michael Brown in Missouri.
The 15 ambush assaults on police officers this year compares to just five in 2013, but matched 2012 for the highest total since 1995, the report said.