BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - After the Sunday shooting of Birmingham officer John Finke, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama Jay Town spoke out on the violent and deadly year it had been for police officers.
“In 2019, 48 officers were murdered in the line of duty,” said Town.
Six of the 48 officers shot and killed were in Alabama.
- December 6, 2019: Agent Billy Fred Clardy, III, Huntsville Police Department
- November 23, 2019: Sheriff John “Big John” Williams, Sr, Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department
- September 16, 2019: Investigator Dornell Cousette, Tuscaloosa Police Department
- May 19, 2019: Officer William Ray Buechner, Jr, Auburn Police Department
- January 20, 2019: Officer Sean Paul Tuder, Mobile Police Department
- January 13, 2019: Sergeant WyTasha Lamar Carter, Birmingham Police Department
By WBRC’s count, at least two other Birmingham officers were shot in the line of duty in 2019. They both survived.
“We have a problem in this country, a respect deficit in this country towards law enforcement,” said Town.
Officers aren’t the only ones caught in the crossfire, added Town.
“Peace-abiding, law-abiding citizens are too often caught in the crossfire of these murderous, violent individuals for whatever reason find themselves, too often, find themselves among us,” Town said.
In December, Oxford Police Chief Bill Partridge said it’s a conversation that needs to be had in all communities.
“Being able to get to the heart of the matter of being able to say ‘Hey, a gun is not a way to settle a dispute, especially with a law enforcement officer,’” said Partridge.