Talking Points: The Death of George Floyd and its Aftermath
- The racial unrest of 2020 following the death of George Floyd took a toll on police forces. The New York Police Department saw more than 5,300 uniformed officers—about 15% of its total force—either resign or file for retirement. Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Louisville, Baltimore, Raleigh, Minneapolis, and many other cities dealt with similar staffing and retention problems.
- The 2020 increase in violence mirrors a similar 2014 phenomena. In the wake of the 2014 death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, a wave of protests targeting the police began. Between 2014 and 2016, both the number and rate of murders in the United States jumped by 23 percent.
- According to a study of 34 U.S. cities by crime researchers of the University of Missouri-St. Louis the Council on Criminal Justice, the historic spike in murders did not begin at the height of the lockdowns in late March, April, or early May. It began after the death of George Floyd.
- Following the death of George Floyd, in Minneapolis in 2020, citywide murders increased by 71 percent, the number of shooting victims increased by 105 percent, and carjackings increased by 301 percent
- Through the first nine months of 2021, murders were up by another 16 percent, the number of shooting victims was up by 26 percent, and carjackings were up by 35 percent.
- In New York, murders and shooting incidents were up by only about 4 percent and 5 percent, respectively, through the end of April 2020. By the end of July, they were up by 30 percent and 72 percent.
- In Chicago, murders and shootings were up by about 8 percent and 16 percent, respectively, through the first four months of 2020. By the end of July, they were up by 51 percent and 47 percent.