The Rate that Police Officers are Murdered with their Own Weapon

May 23, 2024 | Original Research

Often, people point to the rate at which police officers are murdered with their guns. Over the 17 years from 2002 to 2018, there were 34 officers murdered with their gun compared to the 878 officers who were murdered — 3.87% of the total. But the relevant comparison is to the rate at which officers are assaulted. Officers have to come into contact with criminals when they arrest them, and it is at that point that criminals think that they might be able to escape by assaulting the officer. When the criminal is in contact with the officer, they might also try to steal the officer’s gun. Over the eight years from 2011 to 2018, the rate that officers are murdered with their gun when they are injured from the assault is 0.0057%. If you look at the rate relative to all assaults, it is 0.0016%.

Data is taken from various years of the FBI UCR Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted reports (for example, here is the data for 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016).




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