Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests “correlate with a 10 percent increase in murders in the areas that” experienced protests, according to a study reported by the left-leaning website Vox.
The Vox report detailed a non-peer-reviewed study by University of Massachusetts Amherst Ph.D. student Travis Campbell which found that BLM protests tended to correlate with a reduction in police killings and an increase in the murder rate in cities where protests occurred.
There’s long been a fierce debate about the effect of Black Lives Matter protests on the lethal use of force by police. A new study, one of the first to make a rigorous academic attempt to answer that question, found that the protests have had a notable impact on police killings. For every 4,000 people who participated in a Black Lives Matter protest between 2014 and 2019, police killed one less person. [Emphasis added]
From 2014 to 2019, Campbell tracked more than 1,600 BLM protests across the country, largely in bigger cities, with nearly 350,000 protesters. His main finding is a 15 to 20 percent reduction in lethal use of force by police officers — roughly 300 fewer police homicides — in census places that saw BLM protests. [Emphasis added]
Campbell’s research also indicates that these protests correlate with a 10 percent increase in murders in the areas that saw BLM protests. That means from 2014 to 2019, there were somewhere between 1,000 and 6,000 more homicides than would have been expected if places with protests were on the same trend as places that did not have protests. Campbell’s research does not include the effects of last summer’s historic wave of protests because researchers do not yet have all the relevant data. [Emphasis added]
Vox offers some caveats on the rigor of Campbell’s testing of the crime data but says that more research is incoming:
Campbell didn’t subject the homicide findings to the same battery of statistical tests as he did the police killings since they were not the main focus of his research. (He intends to do more research on how these protests affected crime rates.) But his research on homicides aligns with other evidence. Omar Wasow, a professor at Princeton University who has done seminal research on the effect of protests, told Vox that the results are “entirely plausible” and “not surprising,” considering existing protest research.
The reasons for this rise in murders are not fully known, but one possible explanation is that police morale drops following scrutiny, leading officers to reduce their efforts and thereby emboldening criminals. Another is that members of the public voluntarily withdraw from engagements with the police after a police homicide delegitimizes the justice system in their eyes.
BLM protests, which have at times turned into riots, have had an impact on law enforcement injuries, as well. By the end of September 2020, more than 470 New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers were injured in riots that occurred over five months.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter here.