A professor of law at the University of Utah states in a research paper that major cities across the United States are suffering from “dramatic and widespread spikes in homicides” because police funding has been cut.
Calling the trend the “Minneapolis effect,” Paul Cassell, a professor at S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah, asserted:
The thesis of this article is that the recent spikes in homicides have been caused by a “Minneapolis Effect,” similar to the earlier “Ferguson Effect.” Specifically, law enforcement agencies have been forced to divert resources from normal policing to patrolling demonstrations. And even as the anti-police protests have abated, police officers have scaled back on proactive or officer-initiated law enforcement, such as street stops and other forms of policing designed to prevent firearms crimes. If this thesis is correct, it is reasonable to estimate that, as a result of de-policing during June and July 2020, approximately 710 additional victims were murdered and more than 2,800 victims were shot.
Cassell wrote, “Recently, major cities across the country have suffered dramatic spikes in homicides. These spikes are remarkably large, suddenly appearing and widespread. At this rate, 2020 will easily be the deadliest year in America for gun-related homicides since at least 1999, while most other major crime categories are trending stable or slightly downward.”
He added: “A close analysis of the emerging crime patterns suggests that American cities may be witnessing significant declines in some forms of policing, which in turn is producing the homicide spikes. Crime rates are increasing only for a few specific categories—namely homicides and shootings. These crime categories are particularly responsive to reductions in proactive policing. The data also pinpoint the timing of the spikes to late May 2020, which corresponds with the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis and subsequent anti-police protests—protests that likely led to declines in law enforcement.”
Cassell wrote in The Wall Street Journal, “The homicide spikes began in late May. Before May 28, Chicago had almost the same number of homicides as in 2019. Then, on May 31, 18 people were murdered in Chicago—the city’s most violent day in six decades. Violence continued through the summer. July was Chicago’s most violent month in 28 years. As of Sept. 1, murder is up 52% for the year, according to Chicago Police Department data.”
He added, “The idea that reductions in policing might be leading to more shootings has historical precedent. Heather Mac Donald proposed a ‘Ferguson Effect’ in May 2015 to explain homicide increases in the aftermath of antipolice protests following Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Mo., the previous year. Similarly, my research with Richard Fowles identified declines in police street stops as the triggering event for the 2016 homicide spike in Chicago. Beginning in late 2015, pursuant to an agreement with the American Civil Liberties Union, Chicago police significantly reduced stop-and-frisks in the city. The result was a deadly homicide spike the following year.”
“A July study by the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice found Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Detroit have all seen a rise in homicides, aggravated assault and gun assaults in 2020. The study found that ‘rates of homicide, aggravated assault, and gun assault began to increase significantly in late May,’” The Daily Mail noted, adding, “Officials in New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Portland has all approved police funding cuts.”
“2020 may turn out to be one of the most violent years on record in Minneapolis with more than 400 shooting victims and 59 homicides so far, with more than three months of the year to go,” Fox News pointed out.
Author: Hank Berrien