Four NYPD Officers Died in the Line of Duty in 2015
Since the New York City Police Department (NYPD) was established, a total of 841 officers have died in the line of duty. Not everyone on this list was killed by a criminal act, however. The total of those whose fatal injuries were suffered while they worked includes cops killed by gunfire, in auto accidents, in job-related heart attacks and from 9/11-related illness.
Nationwide, 51 police officers were killed in the line of duty in 2014; there were only 35 such deaths the previous year. The NYPD, in particular, was shaken by four gunshot deaths between December 2014 and October 2015. Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were shot while sitting in their patrol car in Brooklyn by a perpetrator who fled and then ended his own life. Brian Moore died after sustaining a gunshot wound while attempting to question a suspicious person in Queens. Randolph Holder was shot and killed in Harlem while pursuing an armed suspect. While these four police officer deaths are much less than the NYPD routinely suffered in the 1930s or even the early 1970s, it is the most they have had over such a short period since 1989.
While there are very good records of the number of officers who are killed, no official tally is kept of members of the public who are killed in encounters with police. After a string of high-profile deaths at the hands of NYPD officers and police across the country, there has been a call for centralized record-keeping so that the public and government officials can better understand the scope and causes of these deaths.