NEW YORK, NY – According to a new report, the “defund the police” movement that started in the wake of the murder of George Floyd while in police custody resulted in a massive increase in the number of murders in the United States throughout 2020, with a disproportionately large number of those killed being from the black community.
Hannah Meyers, director of the policing and public safety initiative at the Manhattan Institute, noted that the mass protest movements that followed several high-profile deaths of black men at the hands of authorities in 2020 have resulted in subsequent increases in violent crime.
“Certainly, the protests and riots mid-2020 after the death of George Floyd followed a pattern of spiking violence that we’ve seen following past viral police incidents, such as the deaths of Michael Brown and Freddie Gray,” she said. “This pattern has been termed the ‘Ferguson Effect’: police pull back while violent crime spikes precipitously.”
The FBI confirms that murder rates in the country jumped 30 percent from 2019 to 2020, the single-biggest year-over-year jump ever recorded.
However, the number of black people murdered spiked in 2020 by 32 percent, according to the FBI; in 2019, approximately 7,484 black people were murdered, but that number increased by 2,457 in 2020 for a total of 9,941 murders.
In contrast, FBI data shows that 7,043 white people were murdered in 2020, which are 2,898 fewer killings than among black people during the same time frame.
Long-term data shows that between 2010 and 2019 there was an average of 5,954 White murders; during the same ten-year average, there was an average of 6,927 black murders. 2020’s numbers indicate a 21 percent increase in white murders – but a whopping 43 percent increase in black murders – over each group’s previous ten-year averages.
According to Census data, white Americans make up 76 percent of the U.S. population when compared to black Americans, which make up 13 percent.
While the cause for these astonishing figures has been blamed on the “defund the police” movement and the subsequent weakening of law enforcement agencies throughout the country, others – such as Volkan Topalli, a professor of criminology at Georgia State University – said that the hardships brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic could be a contributing factor as well.
“I’m not surprised at all that we had an increase in crime. Criminologists and public health people were saying that that was going to be the case as soon as they heard about the pandemic,” he said. “The pandemic revealed something that most of us already knew, which was that we have segments of society that don’t have the advantages of other segments of society. They’re just beneath the surface and the pandemic sort of, you know, as with a hurricane…has revealed the disparities.”