I show in my research below that the Black Lives Matter protests have not caused unprecedented increases in crime; rather, crime in the largest US cities has decreased in 2020 compared to 2019.
We need to put these rumors to rest - the Black Lives Matter protests are not a cause of never-before-seen levels of violence, looting, and vandalism. Crime in 2020 is down in our biggest cities, despite sources that claim otherwise. I analyzed police department data from New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and 4 other large US cities. The data reflect department reports through mid-August 2020.
I was recently copied on an email that made me cringe for multiple reasons. It was sent to 72 people, many of whom I know from my childhood and adolescence. Historically, I ignore emails like this. This time, I felt like setting things straight with some factual research. I ended up hitting reply-all to the 72 recipients to set some facts straight. The email is below:
Subject: Fw: Fw: Plausibility quotient: High!
Believe What You Want!
Something to think about….
The US Population is 330,000,000 and in 5 months the number of deaths was 130,000. The number of deaths as a percent of the population is 0.03939 %, compared to the number of cancer cases diagnosed in 2019 (1,762.450) and 607,000 deaths.
This doesn’t seem far fetched because it is happening before our eyes
A very well-orchestrated plan, or an unimaginable set of events that just fell into place … with the United States front and center. You tell me!!
Scare people with a virus, force them to wear masks and place them in quarantine.
Count the number of deaths every second of every day, in every News Headline. By the way, ninety-nine and eight-tenths of the people who get the virus, recover. About one to two-tenths of one percent who get the virus, die. Most of them have other medical problems. Did you catch that ? Less than 1/2 of a percent die.
Close businesses = 35,000,000+ instantly unemployed.
Remove entertainment and prohibit Recreation; Closing parks, gyms, bars, restaurants, sports.
No dating. No touching. Isolate people. Dehumanize them.
Close Temples and Churches, prohibit worship. Create a vacuum and let depression, anxiety, hopelessness, and desperation set in.
Then… ignite hatred and civil unrest, creating Civil War.
Empty the prisons because of the virus and fill the streets with criminals.
Send in Antifa to vandalize property, as if they are freedom fighters. Undermine the law, Riot, Loot and Attack all Law Enforcement, but tell the government to order a stand-down.
Then… Defund Law Enforcement and abolish Police. We are all being played by those who want to destroy America! This is how you destroy a Nation from within and in a very short order. Will it work, I guess that depends on you and me.
I did not write this … but it needs to be shared.
How to Begin…
I was motivated to correct some of the false claims made above, but to do so in a way that would leave the recipients more well-informed. Call me naive for thinking that I can change people’s minds with truth and kindness. I needed a narrowly-focused, impactful, and concise response with irrefutable evidence (i.e. nothing that could be construed as “politically motivated”).
I decided not to correct the errant COVID claims - such a correction would fall on deaf ears. COVID has been politicized too much. Instead, I focused my intents on debunking the fear about protest-induced crime increases across the country.
The email clearly preys upon fears of increases in criminal activity. These increases don’t exist. I show in my research below that the Black Lives Matter protests have not caused unprecedented increases in crime; rather, crime in the largest US cities has decreased in 2020 compared to 2019.
To those with a watchful eye - I’m aware that the 7 cities below are not the largest 7 cities in the nation; they’re the 3 largest cities, followed by 4 additional very large cities for which the data was available for mid-August.
I focused my research on crime statistics across the country. I show in my research below that the Black Lives Matter protests have not caused unprecedented increases in crime; rather, crime in the largest US cities has decreased in 2020 compared to 2019.
I gathered my data directly from sources that even extreme political pundits will trust when it comes to crime statistics: individual police departments.
Police Department Data
I was able to get up-to-the-week data about crime in 2020 from these big-city police department websites. I stopped my search after these 7 because they all showed not only that crime has it not spiked, but that crime has actually decreased in 2020 compared to 2019.
New York City
New York City saw a 2.67% decrease in total crime year-to-date as of August 16, 2020.
Los Angeles saw an 8.2% decrease in total crime year-to-date as of August 15, 2020.
Dallas saw a 3.49% decrease across the total of all their categories of people, property, and society crimes year-to-date as of August 20, 2020.
Philadelphia saw a 0.8% decrease in total crime year-to-date as of August 16, 2020.
Atlanta saw a 23% decrease in arrests for total crime year-to-date as of August 15, 2020.
Oakland saw a 5% decrease in total crime year-to-date as of August 16, 2020.
I hope my evidence is convincing, no matter what side of the political spectrum you’re on. A civil war is not about to erupt due to increased numbers of criminals on the streets. Please, when you hear these claims from now on, question the validity of the source. Challenge anything that is baseless.
There’s a lot of misinformation being passed around today. The “fake news” is causing a lot of harm in our world. Emails such as the one I received serve only to incite more violence and hatred. We need to do a better job at policing our close friends and relatives when it comes to spreading misinformation.
I hope that this post can serve as motivation (or discussion fodder) for your own crusade against the spread of misinformation. Please, do your part to stop spreading this politically-motivated propaganda. Correct your friends and family members that believe in these conspiracies. Ideally, do it publicly (or by reply-all to 72 recipients) so that more people can hear the correction and stop the madness.
Notes on the Data
The links above are for the