Increase in homicides across the country blamed on “Minneapolis Effect”

Jul 7, 2021, 12:31 PM

SALT LAKE CITY — Concerns over the increase in homicides across the country are being explained by Law Professor Paul Cassell as the ‘Minneapolis Effect.’

A press release from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law explained while most crime categories are stable or trending slightly downward, homicides are increasing.

“It appears to be declines in some forms of policing in the wake of anti-police protests,” Professor Cassell said. “This ‘Minneapolis Effect’ similar to an earlier ‘Ferguson Effect’ is leading to increased shootings across the country,” added Cassell. 

The cities of Ferguson, Missouri, and Minneapolis, Minnesota experienced protesting and riots after unarmed Black men in each city were killed by police. In 2014, protests sparked across the nation following the police killing of 18-year-old Micheal Brown. Another national uprising occurred in 2020 when a police officer kneeled on the neck of George Floyd for more than eight minutes, resulting in his death. 

“My research suggests 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 because of redeployment of law enforcement away from proactive policing,” Cassell said.

He goes into greater detail about the murders in a paper he has written called “Explaining the Recent Homicide Spikes in U.S. Cities: The ‘Minneapolis Effect’ and the Decline in Proactive Policing.” 

Cassell suggests the reasons we think would be affecting the increase in homicides across the country actually have no bearing on more murders.

“They are not explained by violence during protests, nor are they attributable to normal seasonal variation,” noted Cassell.” The COVID-19 pandemic also does not appear to be a triggering cause, as the homicide spikes began well after social distancing began in this country and stay-at-home orders were beginning to be relaxed,” Cassell continued. 

Tune into KSLNewsradio at 1:05 p.m., when Boyd Matheson will talk to Cassell about what this means to Utah and whether there is an uptick in homicides.



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Increase in homicides across the country blamed on “Minneapolis Effect”