Police Fatalities Jump During 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Steve Fermier and Associated Press

The number of law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty was up in the year ending. The increase was 13 percent over 2010.

Two of the deaths were in Maryland. On May 21st State Trooper First Class Shaft Hunter was killed when his cruiser slammed into the back of a tractor trailer that had stopped on the shoulder of 95 near the Jessup Rest Area.

It’s believed he was in pursuit of a speeding motorcyclist at the time of the crash.

TFC Hunter left behind a wife and six children.

And in January city police officer William Torbit Junior who was in plainclothes died when he was struck by bullets fired by other police who had been called to a disturbance at the Select Lounge on Paca Street.

A special review panel concluded Torbit had not identified himself as an officer and the use of deadly force was justified.

A civilian also was shot by Torbit, and another officer was wounded in the confusion.

The State’s Attorney’s office had concluded earlier that police had acted properly under the circumstances and no criminal charges would be filed.

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund released the report Wednesday showing that 173 officers died in the line of duty across the nation. That’s up from 153 deaths the year before.

It was fueled by a rise in the number of deaths caused by firearms. In all, 68 federal, state and local officers were killed by gunfire in 2011. That’s a 15 percent jump from last year.

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