Coherent Identifier About this item: 20.500.12592/mwv0jr

Black Lives Matter Protests, Fatal Police Interactions, and Crime

17 September 2021

Summary

Recent research has found that Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests are more likely to happen in locations where there has recently been a fatal interaction with police and that the BLM protests moderately decrease racial resentment toward the black community for certain segments of the general population. In 2013, the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the death of Trayvon Martin sparked the use of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on social media. The following year, the movement became nationally known as people took to the streets to protest following the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City. Since the death of Michael Brown, the movement has focused on fatal interactions with police, with protests occurring across the nation in response to deaths of individuals in and out of police custody. As with many social and political movements, Black Lives Matter (BLM) was met with backlash. Some feared that the increased scrutiny on the police could lead to depolicing, which in turn would lead to higher crime rates.My work seeks to answer two questions. First, did the BLM movement have an impact on the number of fatal interactions with police? Second, did the BLM movement have any impact on arrests and crime? Although the BLM movement was widespread and well known, little is documented about the impacts it may have had.Recent research has found that BLM protests are more likely to happen in locations where there has recently been a fatal interaction with police and that the BLM protests moderately decrease racial resentment toward the black community for certain segments of the general population. However, it is unknown whether the increased protests have had an impact on racial disparity within the justice system.

Authors

Evelyn Skoy
Hamilton College

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