In a new interview with 60 Minutes this week, FBI Director Christopher Wray explained some of the causes of the rise in violent crime in the United States since 2020, as well as the rise in domestic terrorism, and what the government is doing about it.
Discussing the 29 percent increase in murder rates in the United States from 2020 to 2021, Wray pointed to the fact that some of the most violent offenders have been released from prison and are back on the streets.
“We’re seeing an alarming frequency of some of the worst of the worst getting back out on the streets,” Wray told Scott Pelley. “We are working very hard with our partners, state and local law enforcement partners, through task forces, task forces all over the country. And through surging rapid deployment teams to try to combat violent crime in specific hot spots.”
Wray was sure to mention the successes the agency has had in combating the rise in violent crime. “Last year I think we arrested something like 15,000 violent gang members around the country,” he said. “And part of what fuels us to pursue this mission is our deep conviction that law enforcement’s most sacred duty is to ensure that people can live free from fear in their own homes and neighborhoods.”
Much of the interview was spent discussing the issue of rising violent crime against law enforcement officers. 2021 saw a 59 percent increase in the murder of police officers.
“Violence against law enforcement in this country is one of the biggest phenomena that I think doesn’t get enough attention,” Wray said. “Last year, officers were being killed at a rate of almost one every five days.”
Wray pointed out that many of the attacks on police were unprovoked. “… An alarming percentage of the 73 law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty last year were killed through things like being ambushed– or shot while out on patrol,” Wray explained. “Wearing the badge shouldn’t make you a target.”
However, Wray acknowledged that police misconduct is as much a problem as violence against officers. “We take very seriously our responsibility to both protect the American people and uphold the Constitution,” Wray said. “And that includes where it happens, going after police misconduct if it violates federal criminal law.”
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: CBS NEWS