Black Lives Matter Protests Led To 11.5% Increase In Murders, Thousands Of Additional Deaths, Study Shows

(Photo by MUSTAFA HUSSAIN/AFP via Getty Images)

James Lynch Investigative Reporter
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Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests against urban police departments caused an 11.5% increase in reported murders over the five years after they took place, according to a new academic study.

BLM protests from 2014-21 caused more than 3,000 additional murders compared to 200 fewer instances where police used lethal force from 2014-19, according to a study published in the Journal of Urban Economics on Sept. 14. (RELATED: Support For Black Lives Matter Drops To Lowest Level Since George Floyd’s Death: POLL)

“A growing body of research has found that, after protests draw public attention to officer-involved killings, police officers become less proactive, pulling back from enforcing the law or other practices aimed at ensuring public safety due to fear of criticism, lawsuits, or low morale. And, as aversion to the criminal justice system increases and willingness to cooperate with law enforcement decreases, some resort to violence to resolve conflicts, potentially explaining the rise in homicides,” the study reads.

“Specifically, over the five years after local BLM protests, property crime arrests decreased by approximately 12%, while reported murders increased by roughly 11.5%, which is over 3000 additional homicides. Moreover, the property crime clearance rate experienced a sharp decline of around 8%. These statistics are not only alarming but also offer compelling evidence of a substantial decrease in police activity,” the study adds.

The analysis focuses on more than 1,000 cities and towns with at least one BLM protest from 2014-21 based on web data and data on homicides, crime and police behavior, the study states. The research compares changes to police behavior in cities that experienced protests in 2014-15 and those rattled by BLM demonstrations from 2020-21 to estimate how BLM influenced police behavior over a five-year period.

In order to strengthen the data, the research focuses on lower population cities in the early protest group and cities where protests were addressing an incident that took place somewhere else. The research looks into spillover effects from cities to counties and it tests bordering county pairs.

Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020 occurred as the murder rate rose by 30% compared to 2019, according to FBI data analyzed by the Heritage Foundation. The murder rate spike in 2020 was the single largest since the FBI began recording crime data in 1960.