Were most Black Lives Matter protests peaceful?

Thursday, July 7, 2022
By Lisa Freedland

Data collected from the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests throughout the U.S. suggest that the overwhelming majority of such protests were peaceful, marked neither by interpersonal violence nor property destruction.

Analyzing data from 7,305 BLM protests occurring in May and June of 2020, Harvard University researchers found that 96.3% of the protests involved "no property damage or police injuries,” and 97.7% of them resulted in no injuries at all.

Similarly, an Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project study found that approximately 93% of the 7,750 BLM protests they tracked between May and August 2020 involved no violence or destructive activity.

Despite this, 42% of respondents in a June 2020 poll reported beliefs that most BLM protesters were trying to "incite violence or destroy property." A Washington Post study suggests that this disparity may be due to "biased media framing" and "disproportionate coverage of violent demonstrations."

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