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Minneapolis Effect
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U of U research: “Minneapolis Effect” may be increasing murders across the country

Over a thousand demonstrators gathered outside the Salt Lake City-County building Wednesday morning protesting for police reform. (PHOTO: KSL Newsradio's John Wojcik)

SALT LAKE CITY—  A Professor of Law at the University of Utah says a “Minneapolis Effect,” is leading to increased shootings across the country.  He details his findings in a paper soon to be published in a law journal.

HOMICIDES UP

Professor Paul Cassell says “right after the last week in May we see a 37% increase in homicides around the country.  That’s a very sharp increase in a short period of time.”

May 25 was when George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis, and riots began.  Cassell’s research indicates as a result of de-policing in June and July 2020, approximately 710 additional victims were murdered and more than 2,800 victims were shot. 

He says this same kind of effect happened after the Ferguson, Missouri riots protesting the police shooting of Micheal Brown in 2014.

THE EFFECT OF THE MINNEAPOLIS EFFECT

Cassell defines the “Minneapolis Effect” as a decline in law enforcement stemming from the anti-police protest.  This could be because police are regulating riots and/or because of a decline in proactive policing. 

The decline could be the result of many things, says Cassell. “It’s hard to tell exactly why police are pulling back.  It could be lower morale or redeployment; it could be a lot of things. But it all seems to stem from the anti-police protests.”

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR “#DEFUNDING” THE POLICE

Cassell’s paper suggests an inverse result of the protests.  While people are protesting to protect minority communities, violence there is rising. 

“There has been a boomerang effect. We’re seeing a decline in policing that is striking in particular minority victims,” Cassel noted.

 Cassell says one of the implications of this research is that we have to be very careful about “defunding the police. “(Police) play a vital role in preventing gun violence.  Everything that interferes with that role can have deadly consequences.”

Listen to a full interview with Dr. Cassell with Lee Lonsberry here: