New study finds about 300 fewer police killings in cities where Black Lives Matter protests happened
Protesters stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality on June 3, 2020, in Stockholm, Sweden.
Daily Kos Staffby Lauren Floyd,
It’s difficult to gauge the success of any movement aimed at affecting widespread and systematic change. That’s especially true for the Black Lives Matter movement, which has what can feel like the insurmountable aims of eradicating white supremacy and fighting police brutality in Black communities. But as difficult as it is to quantify the movement’s success, it’s just as difficult to ignore its impact. A new study cited in the Scientific American found that in cities where Black Lives Matter protests had been staged, police killings dropped an estimated 20% between 2014 and 2019.
Travis Campbell, the author of the study and an economist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, concluded in his research that Census areas with Black Lives Matter protests saw about 300 fewer police homicides. “BLM protests also increase the probability of a police agency having body-cameras, expand community policing, and reduce the number of future property crime-related arrests, which may partially explain the lethal force reduction,” Campbell said in the study. Aldon Morris, a sociologist at Northwestern University, posed the question before the Scientific American of whether Black Lives Matter protests have been generating change. It’s an “inescapable” yes based on the study, Morris said, adding that “protest matters—that it can generate change.”