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006 Temporal and spatial shifts in gun violence, before and after a historic police killing in Minneapolis
  1. Jeanie Santaularia,
  2. Ryan Larson,
  3. Christopher Uggen
  1. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA


There is a long history of police violence and brutality that has been highlighted due to several recent high profile police killings against Black people. The highly publicized murder of George Floyd by police was followed with significant protest and social unrest. The aftermath of these killings has been the subject of research. For example, research has examined crime following the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO and arrest and subsequent death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. The studies investigating these trends and associations primarily involve data reported directly from police departments. These data are problematic because they suffer from: (1) selection bias towards communities of color; and (2) misclassification of gun violence potentially due to changes in policing, and subsequent detection and categorization of crime events, in a time of disruption. In light of this background the current analysis seeks to understand: (1) what was the temporal and spatial pattern of gun violence injuries in Minneapolis, pre- and post- the murder of Mr. Floyd?; (2) did the patterns of gun violence injuries mirror prior work in Ferguson, Baltimore or elsewhere?; and (3) what were the characteristics of communities that experienced the greatest change? All results are based on the Minnesota Hospital Association discharge data merged to data from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Minneapolis Police Department, and the American Community Survey. We analyzed the data using interrupted time series models at the week-level and fixed-effects panel models at the ZCTA-week level. This analysis indicated that firearm assault injury rates increased after the murder of George Floyd by police net of seasonal changes, police behavior changes, and state policy changes in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. These findings suggest that this high-profile incident of police brutality significantly altered the temporal pattern of firearm assault injuries.

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