Study Links BLM Protests to Reduction in Police Killings, Rise in Homicides

A recent study spanning five years observed a decline in police-related fatalities in the wake of Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests.

However, this same period also experienced a surge in homicides, an effect researchers attribute to decreased police activity amidst concerns about public scrutiny and potential litigation, according to a report from The Epoch Times.

Travis Campbell, the author of the study, remarked that the aftermath of BLM protests, particularly following the deaths of Michael Brown in 2014 and George Floyd in 2020, instigated a significant shift in police behavior

“The findings of the event study suggest that the BLM protests led police departments to pull back from interactions with the public and obtain body cameras, leading to increased crime and decreased police killings,” he said.

The data revealed a 14 percentage-point surge in the adoption of body-worn cameras by agencies within the five years.

Agencies emphasized goals such as “reducing the use of force and enhancing community perception,” rather than concentrating solely on boosting evidence quality.

This resulted in a decline in lethal force incidents by 10% to 15% between 2014 and 2019, which is credited with preventing nearly 200 police killings.

However, the reduction in police fatalities came at a cost.

The study recorded an 11.5 percent rise in homicides, translating to more than 3,000 additional murders. Property crime arrests fell by roughly 12 percent, and there was a noticeable 8 percent decline in the property crime clearance rate.

“These statistics are not only alarming but also offer compelling evidence of a substantial decrease in police activity,” commented Campbell.

Further insights suggest a general sentiment of reluctance among officers to be proactive in their duties after the BLM protests amplified public attention on police conduct.

As law enforcement became more wary of potential backlash and their morale plummeted, the community’s faith in the criminal justice system weakened.

The study indicated, “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 following some protests.”

Adding to the complexities, the New York Police Department recently settled a lawsuit from the George Floyd protests, Epoch Times notes.

The terms require an overhaul in their approach to demonstrations, focusing on de-escalation and banning practices like “kettling.”

Moreover, a committee will be established to monitor the NYPD’s response to protests over the next three years.

Morale issues were further exacerbated by the movement’s call to defund the police.

Following the George Floyd protests, many police departments reported reduced staffing levels and a dramatic increase in voluntary resignations.

Dave Smith, a seasoned police officer, noted that defunding initiatives led to lowered morale among officers.

Moreover, violent incidents targeting police officers increased.

FBI data from 2022 highlighted that a police officer faced fatal threats approximately every six days, ranking it the third most perilous year for law enforcement in two decades.

However, the FBI doesn’t classify BLM or Antifa, a far-left extremist group, as domestic terrorist groups.