Study: Homicide rate spiked after death of George Floyd


(Photo by Joe Kovacs)

A chart of homicide data compiled from 19 cities shows a spike in murders immediately after the death of George Floyd, confirming analysts who attribute the record homicide rate to the “Minneapolis Effect.”

The homicide rate was flat until the unrest and the subsequent defund-the-police movement that followed the death of a black man in police custody, according to the chart compiled by Steve Sailer and highlighted by Powerline blogger John Hinderaker.

Sailer addressed the theory that that rise in murders was a result of the lockdowns. But the data shows no rise until Memorial Day, when Floyd’s death sparked national outrage.

Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald coined the term “Ferguson Effect” in the wake of the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014. As police backed off from discretionary enforcement, an additional 2,000 blacks lost their lives in 2015-16 compared to the previous period. The “Minneapolis Effect,” she said last summer was far worse, making the “Ferguson Effect” looking like “child’s play.”

In the weeks following Floyd’s death on Memorial Day, for example, homicides rose 100% in Minneapolis, 200% in Seattle, 240% in Atlanta and 182% in Chicago. In New York City, shootings have more than doubled so far in 2020 compared to last year.

Sailer’s graph, using data from 19 cities scraped from the City Crime States website, shows that prior to Memorial Day of 2020, the worst day for murders in 2020 was 18. But on May 31, the first day of massive protests, 37 people were murdered according to the data.

A second national surge began about six days after the June 12 death in Atlanta of Rayshard Brooks, who stole an officer’s tazer and shot at him.

By July 4, murders were up 23%. By July 21, the rise was 27%.

A third increase began about a week after the Aug. 23 police shooting of Jacob Blake, who was shot while armed with a knife while resisting officers in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Sailer explained that his graph shows the homicide trends over the course of 2020 — until September — in comparison to the average for the five previous years across 19 cities for which CCS had day-by-day homicide stats.

See the chart:

The evidence

Mac Donald, at a virtual event last July, presented empirical evidence rebutting the Black Lives Matter’s “systemic police racism” narrative.

For example, a 2019 study published by the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America concluded there is no racial disparity in police shootings once violent crime is taken into account.

As WND reported, the authors retracted that study because Mac Donald had cited it verbatim in congressional testimony and in several articles. She said she received a personal email from the authors asking her to cease and desist from citing it, even though the authors stand by their findings.

As it turns out, however, the authors did not retract a 2018 article that reached the same conclusion, that violent crime, not race, determines police shootings.

The researchers found blacks were 2.5 times more likely to be shot by police. But the authors recognized population isn’t the proper benchmark, it’s crime.

When you compare fatal police shootings to homicides and arrests, Mac Donald pointed out, the likelihood of being shot, in the authors’ words, “flips completely.”

Whites are about three times more likely to be fatally shot than blacks, once their homicide rates are taken into account, the authors found.

Others have reached the same conclusion, she noted, including Harvard economist Roland Fryer.

Officers in the 10 large cities and counties were more likely to shoot a suspect without first being attacked if the suspect was white than if the suspect was black, Fryer found.

In 2015, under President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, a Justice Department analysis of the Philadelphia Police Department found white police officers were less likely than black or Hispanic officers to shoot unarmed black suspects. In 2016, the Washington Post reported a Washington State University study finding that police officers are three times less likely to shoot unarmed black suspects than unarmed white suspects.

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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