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‘Can you care about us before we’re dead?’: Minn. sheriff speaks out after spike in assaults on LEOs

In 2016, 350 officers were assaulted across the state; in 2022, the number rose to 1,062

By Joanna Putman

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A sheriff is speaking out about violence against officers after a deputy was injured by gunfire, FOX 9 reported.

A Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office deputy was shot during a pursuit, according to the report. The bullet struck his bullet-resistant vest, according to the report.

“Six inches higher and he would have been dead,” said Sheriff Bob Fletcher.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension found that assaults on officers in the state doubled from 2019 to 2022, according to the report. In 2016, 350 officers were assaulted across the state; in 2022, 1,062 officers were assaulted.

Fletcher attributed the increase to mental health and access to weapons, as well as harmful rhetoric by elected officials.

“You can’t just label an entire profession as easily as they have and I’m talking about high-level officials…it’s damaging,” Fletcher told FOX 9. “The young kids who have heard this message the last four or five years are emboldened.”

Fletcher pointed out that despite the outpouring of support that typically comes after officers are killed in the line of duty, support from politicians can be scant.

“Can you care about us before we’re dead?” said Fletcher.