It is well known that there were significant spikes in homicides in 2020, particularly in major urban areas. In an article I published in 2021, I attributed these spikes to what I dubbed the “Minneapolis Effect”–specifically reductions in proactive policing as police pulled back in the wake of the George Floyd protests. I blogged about my article here.
A few days ago, an important new statistical study found corroboration for my hypothesis in New York City. Professor Dae-Young Kim’s article “Did De-Policing Contribute to the 2020 Homicide Spikes?” answers the question posed in the title in the affirmative.
Professor Kim’s article examines NYC homicide data from 2017 through 2020. It divides homicides into six different categories: gun, non-gun, domestic, non-domestic, gang, and non-gang. It assesses the connection between homicide rates in those categories and a significant reduction in NYPD police stops of pedestrians. In NYC, stops fell from 13,453 in 2019 to 8,375 in 2020–a 30% decrease in proactive policing.
Professor Kim’s article found that the reduction in stops led to an increase in three homicide categories:
… the interaction term of police stops and the pandemic presents the extent to which the 2020 homicide surges were attributable to reduced proactive law enforcement. Specifically,…