Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Black Lives Matter: Evidence that Police-Caused Deaths Predict Protest Activity

  • Vanessa Williamson, Kris-Stella Trump and Katherine Levine Einstein
Abstract

Since 2013, protests opposing police violence against Black people have occurred across a number of American cities under the banner of “Black Lives Matter.” We develop a new dataset of Black Lives Matter protests that took place in 2014–2015 and explore the contexts in which they emerged. We find that Black Lives Matter protests are more likely to occur in localities where more Black people have previously been killed by police. We discuss the implications of our findings in light of the literature on the development of social movements and recent scholarship on the carceral state’s impact on political engagement.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Black Lives Matter: Evidence that Police-Caused Deaths Predict Protest Activity
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Black Lives Matter: Evidence that Police-Caused Deaths Predict Protest Activity
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Black Lives Matter: Evidence that Police-Caused Deaths Predict Protest Activity
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
References
Hide All
Alexander, Michelle. 2012. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. New York: New Press.
Andreas, Peter and Price, Richard. 2001. “From War Fighting to Crime Fighting: Transforming the American National Security State.” International Studies Review 3(3): 3152.
Barreto, Matt A., Manzano, Sylvia, Ramírez, Ricardo, and Rim, Kathy. 2009. “Mobilization, Participation, and Solidaridad: Latino Participation in the 2006 Immigration Protest Rallies.” Urban Affairs Review 44(5): 736–64.
Bobo, Lawrence and Hutchings, Vincent L.. 1996. “Perceptions of Racial Group Competition: Extending Blumer’s Theory of Group Position to a Multiracial Social Context.” American Sociological Review. 61(4): 951–72.
Bonilla, Yarimar and Rosa, Jonathan. 2015. “#Ferguson: Digital Protest, Hashtag Ethnography, and the Racial Politics of Social Media in the United States.” American Ethnologist 42(1): 417.
Brooks, Richard R. W. and Jeon-Slaughter, Haekyung. 2001. “Race, Income, and Perceptions of the US Court System.” Behavioral Sciences & the Law 19(2): 249–64.
Burch, Traci. 2013. Trading Democracy for Justice: Criminal Convictions and the Decline of Neighborhood Political Participation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Campbell, Andrea Louise. 2003. How Policies Make Citizens: Senior Political Activism and the American Welfare State. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Carey, Tony E., Branton, Regina P., and Martinez-Ebers, Valerie. 2014. “The Influence of Social Protests on Issue Salience among Latinos.” Political Research Quarterly 67(3): 615–27.
Chenoweth, Erica and Stephan, Maria J.. 2011. Why civil resistance works: The strategic logic of nonviolent conflict. New York: Columbia University Press.
Chong, Dennis. 2014. Collective Action and the Civil Rights Movement. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Chong, Dennis, Rogers, Reuel, and Tillery, Alvin B.. 2004. “Reviving Group Consciousness.” In The Politics of Democratic Inclusion, ed. Wolbrecht, Christina, Hero, Rodney E., Arnold, Peri E., and Tillery, Alvin B.. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Clear, Todd R., Rose, Dina R., and Ryder, Judith A.. 2001. “Incarceration and the Community: The Problem of Removing and Returning Offenders.” Crime and Delinquency 47(3): 335–51.
Dalton, Russell, Van Sickle, Alix, and Weldon, Steven. 2010. “The Individual–Institutional Nexus of Protest Behaviour.” British Journal of Political Science 40(1): 5173.
Davenport, Christian, Soule, Sarah A., and Armstrong, David A.. 2011. “Protesting while Black? The Differential Policing of American Activism, 1960 to 1990.” American Sociological Review 76(1): 152–78.
Davis, Ronald L., Austin, Roy L., and Patil, D. J.. 2016. “Growing Number of Communities Are Using Data to Improve Policing and Criminal Justice.” Department of Justice. Available at https://www.justice.gov/archives/opa/blog/growing-number-communities-are-using-data-improve-policing-and-criminal-justice; accessed July 6, 2017.
Dawson, Michael C. 1995. Behind the Mule: Race and Class in African-American Politics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
DemocracyNow. 2015. “When Black Lives Matter Met Clinton: Activists Speak Out on Challenging Candidate over Crime Record.” Available at http://www.democracynow.org/2015/8/19/when_Black_lives_matter_met_clinton; accessed March 31, 2016.
De Weerd, Marga and Klandermans, Bert. 1999. “Group Identification and Political Protest: Farmers’ Protest in the Netherlands.” European Journal of Social Psychology 29(8): 1073–95.
Dickerson, Caitlin. 2017. “Immigration Arrests Rise Sharply as Trump Mandate Is Carried Out.” New York Times. Available at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/17/us/immigration-enforcement-ice-arrests.html; accessed February 4, 2018.
Einstein, Katherine Levine and Kogan, Vladimir. 2016. “Pushing the City Limits: Policy Responsiveness in Municipal Government.” Urban Affairs Review 52(1): 332.
Eisinger, Peter. 1973. “The Conditions of Protest Behavior in American Cities.” American Political Science Review 81(1): 1128.
Epp, Charles and Maynard-Moody, Steven. 2014. Pulled Over: How Police Stops Define Race and Citizenship. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Estrada, Josue and Gregory, James. 2016. “NAACP History and Geography 1909–1980.” Mapping American Social Movements Through the 20th Century. Available at http://depts.washington.edu/moves/NAACP_intro.shtml; accessed October 18, 2016.
Fitzgerald, Scott T. and Spohn, Ryan E.. 2005. “Pulpits and Platforms: The Role of the Church in Determining Protest among Black Americans.” Social Forces 84(2): 1015–48.
Foster, Mindi D. and Matheson, Kimberly. 1999. “Perceiving and Responding to the personal/Group Discrimination Discrepancy.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 25(10): 1319–29.
Freelon, Deen Goodwin, McIlwain, Charlton D., and Clark, Meredith D.. 2016. Beyond the Hashtags: #Ferguson, #Blacklivesmatter, and the Online Struggle for Offline Justice. Washington, DC: Center for Media and Social Impact.
Fryer, Roland G. 2016. “An Empirical Analysis of Racial Differences in Police Use of Force.” NBER Working Paper 22399. Available at http://www.nber.org/papers/w22399.pdf.; accessed October 18, 2016.
Frymer, Paul. 2011. Uneasy Alliances: Race and Party Competition in America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Gay, Claudine. 2002. “Spirals of Trust? The Effect of Descriptive Representation on the Relationship between Citizens and Their Government.” American Journal of Political Science 46(4): 717–32.
Gay, Claudine. 2004. “Putting Race in Context: Identifying the Environmental Determinants of Black Racial Attitudes.” American Political Science Review 98(4): 547–62.
Gerber, Alan S., Huber, Gregory A., Meredith, Marc, Biggers, Daniel R., and Hendry, David J.. Forthcoming. “Does Incarceration Reduce Voting? Evidence about the Political Consequences of Spending Time in Prison.” The Journal of Politics 79(4): 11301146.
Giddings, Paula J. 2009. Ida: A Sword among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the Campaign against Lynching. New York: Harper Collins.
Gurr, Ted. 1968. “A Causal Model of Civil Strife: A Comparative Analysis Using New Indices.” American Political Science Review 62(4): 1104–24.
Harmon, Rachel. 2013. “Why Do We (Still) Lack Data on Policing?” Marquette Law Review 96(4): 1120–46.
Havernell, Wanda. 2017. “Oakland Protests Verdict in Philando Castile Death.” Oakland Post. Available at http://www.oaklandpost.org/2017/06/22/oakland-protests-verdict-philando-castile-death/; accessed October 18, 2017.
Hochschild, Jennifer and Powell, Brenna Marea. 2008. “Racial Reorganization and the United States Census 1850–1930: Mulattos, Halfbreeds, Mixed Parentage, Hindoos, and the Mexican Race.” Studies in American Political Development 22: 5996.
Hochschild, Jennifer and Weaver, Vesla. 2015. “Is the Significance of Race Declining in the Political Arena? Yes, and No.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 38(8): 1250–57.
Hsuan Yun, Chen, Chris Fariss, Ted, and Zachary, Paul. 2017. “Who Protests? Using Social Media Data to Solve Ecological Inference Problems in Studies of Mass Behavior.” Presented at the Midwest Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, April.6–9.
Jackson, Sarah J. and Welles, Brooke Foucault. 2016. “#Ferguson Is Everywhere: Initiators in Emerging Counterpublic Networks.” Information, Communication & Society 19(3): 397418.
Kurgan, Laura, Cadora, Eric, Reinfurt, David, Williams, Sarah, and Meisterlin, Leah. 2017. “Million Dollar Blocks.” Spatial Information Design Lab, Columbia University. Available at http://spatialinformationdesignlab.org/projects/million-dollar-blocks; accessed December 5, 2017.
Lebron, Christopher J. 2017. The Making of Black Lives Matter: A Brief History of an Idea. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Lerman, Amy E. and Weaver, Vesla. 2014. “Staying Out of Sight? Concentrated Policing and Local Political Action.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 651(1): 202–19.
Lichtblau, Eric. 2016. “Justice Department to Track Use of Force by Police Across U.S.” New York Times. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/14/us/justice-department-track-police-shooting-use-force.html?_r=0; accessed October 13, 2016.
Lynch, James P. and Jarvis, John P.. 2008. “Missing Data and Imputation in the Uniform Crime Reports and the Effects on National Estimates.” Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice 24(1): 6985.
Maloney, William A., Jordan, Grant, and McLaughlin, Andrew M.. 1994. “Interest Groups and Public Policy: The Insider/Outsider Model Revisited.” Journal of Public Policy 14(1): 1738.
Mansbridge, Jane. 1999. “Should Blacks Represent Blacks And Women Represent Women? A Contingent “Yes”.” Journal of Politics 61(3): 628–57.
McCarthy, John and Zald, Mayer. 1977. “Resource Mobilization and Social Movements: A Partial Theory.” American Journal of Sociology 82(6): 1212–41.
Meyer, David S. 2004. “Protest and Political Opportunities.” Annual Review of Sociology 30: 125–45.
Miller, Lisa L. 2015. “What’s Violence Got to Do with It? Inequality, Punishment, and State Failure in US Politics.” Punishment & Society 17(2): 184210.
Morrison, Aaron. 2017. “After Trump’s Joint Address, Movement for Black Lives Activists Offer Their Own Response.” https://mic.com/articles/169961/after-trump-s-joint-address-movement-for-Black-lives-activists-offer-their-own-response#.QJa7jGUHO; accessed October 18, 2017.
Muller, Christopher and Schrage, Daniel. 2014. “Mass Imprisonment and Trust in the Law.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 651(1): 139–58.
Olteanu, Alexandra, Weber, Ingmar, and Gatica-Perez, Daniel. 2016. “Characterizing the Demographics behind the #BlackLivesMatter Movement.” Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence Conference Proceedings: 310313.
Piven, Frances Fox and Cloward, Richard A.. 1979. Poor People’s Movements: Why They Succeed, How They Fail. New York: Vintage.
Reynolds-Stenson, Heidi. 2017. “Protesting the Police: Anti-Police Brutality Claims as a Predictor of Police Repression of Protest.” Social Movement Studies 17(1): 4863.
Schattschneider, Elmer E. 1975. The Semi-Sovereign People: A Realist’s View of Democracy in America. Boston: Wadsworth Publishing.
Sears, David O. and McConahay, John B.. 1973. The Politics of Violence: The New Urban Blacks and the Watts Riot. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Simon, Bernd and Klandermans, P. G.. 2001. “Toward a Social Psychological Analysis of Politicized Collective Identity: Conceptualization, Antecedents, and Consequences.” American Psychologist 56(4): 319–31.
Smith, Mitch. 2017. “In Court, Diamond Reynolds Recounts Moments Before Police Shooting.” New York Times. Available at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/06/us/castile-police-shooting-facebook-trial.html?_r=0; accessed October 18, 2017.
Soss, Joe. 1999. “Lessons of Welfare: Policy Design, Political Learning, and Political Action.” American Political Science Review 93(2): 363–80.
Soss, Joe and Weaver, Vesla. 2016. “Learning From Ferguson: Welfare, Criminal Justice, and the Political Science of Race and Class.” American Political Science Association Report. November 4. Available at http://www.politicalsciencenow.com/learning-from-ferguson-welfare-criminal-justice-and-the-political-science-of-race-and-class/.
Stanley, Damian A., Sokol-Hessner, Peter, Banaji, Mahzarin R., and Phelps, Elizabeth A.. 2011. “Implicit Race Attitudes Predict Trustworthiness Judgments and Economic Trust Decisions.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108(19): 7710–15.
Tate, Katherine. 1991. “Black Political Participation in the 1984 and 1988 Presidential Elections.” American Political Science Review 85(4): 1159–76.
Tate, Katherine. 1993. From Protest to Politics: The New Black Voters in American Elections. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press and Russell Sage Foundation Press.
Tausanovitch, Chris and Warshaw, Christopher. 2015. “Representation in Municipal Government.” American Political Science Review 108(3): 605–41.
Taylor, Keeanga-Yamahtta. 2016. From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation. Chicago: Haymarket Books.
Tharps, Lori L. 2014. “The Case for Black with a Capital B.” New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/19/opinion/the-case-for-black-with-a-capital-b.html; accessed December 8, 2017.
The Sentencing Project. 2016. “6 Million Votes Lost.” Available at http://www.sentencingproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/6-Million-Lost-Voters.pdf; accessed October 18, 2017.
Vega, Tanzina. 2016. “In the age of Black Lives Matter, can the NAACP stay young?” CNN Money. Available at http://money.cnn.com/2016/07/19/news/naacp-Black-lives-matter /; accessed October 18, 2016.
Verba, Sidney, Schlozman, Kay Lehman, and Brady, Henry E.. 1995. Voice and Equality: Civic Voluntarism in American Politics. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press
Wacquant, Loic. 2009. Prisons of Poverty. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Walker, Hannah L. 2014. “Extending the Effects of the Carceral State: Proximal Contact, Political Participation, and Race.” Political Research Quarterly 67(4): 809–22.
Wallace, Sophia J., Zepeda-Millán, Chris, and Jones-Correa, Michael. 2014. “Spatial and Temporal Proximity: Examining the Effects of Protests on Political Attitudes.” American Journal of Political Science 58(2): 433–48.
Weaver, Vesla M. 2007. “Frontlash: Race and the Development of Punitive Crime Policy.” Studies in American political development 21(2): 230–65.
Weaver, Vesla and Lerman, Amy. 2010. “Political Consequences of the Carceral State.” American Political Science Review 104(4): 817–33.
Weitzer, Ronald and Tuch, Steven A.. 2002. “Perceptions of Racial Profiling: Race, Class, and Personal Experience.” Criminology 40(2): 435–56.
Western, Bruce. 2006. Punishment and Inequality in America. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
White, Ariel. 2017. “Misdemeanor Disenfranchisement? The demobilizing effects of brief jail spells on potential voters.” Unpublished manuscript.
Wilkes, Rima. 2004. “First Nation Politics: Deprivation, Resources, and Participation in Collective Action.” Sociological Inquiry 74(4): 570–89.
Winston, Ali. 2012. “Oakland Police Officer-Involved Shooting of Alan Blueford Raises Questions.” East Bay Express. https://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/oakland-police-officer-involved-shooting-of-alan-blueford-raises-questions/Content?oid=3295686; accessed October 18, 2017.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Perspectives on Politics
  • ISSN: 1537-5927
  • EISSN: 1541-0986
  • URL: /core/journals/perspectives-on-politics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×
Type Description Title
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Williamson et al. supplementary material
Williamson et al. supplementary material 8

 Unknown (436 KB)
436 KB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Williamson et al. supplementary material
Williamson et al. supplementary material 13

 Unknown (3.0 MB)
3.0 MB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Williamson et al. supplementary material
Williamson et al. supplementary material 15

 Unknown (28 KB)
28 KB
WORD
Supplementary materials

Williamson et al. supplementary material
Williamson et al. supplementary material 12

 Word (126 KB)
126 KB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Williamson et al. Dataset
Dataset

 Unknown
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Williamson et al. supplementary material
Williamson et al. supplementary material 9

 Unknown (222 KB)
222 KB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Williamson et al. supplementary material
Williamson et al. supplementary material 10

 Unknown (47 KB)
47 KB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Williamson et al. supplementary material
Williamson et al. supplementary material 7

 Unknown (70 KB)
70 KB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Williamson et al. supplementary material
Williamson et al. supplementary material 16

 Unknown (137 KB)
137 KB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Williamson et al. supplementary material
Williamson et al. supplementary material 11

 Unknown (26 KB)
26 KB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Williamson et al. supplementary material
Williamson et al. supplementary material 2

 Unknown (394 KB)
394 KB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Williamson et al. supplementary material
Williamson et al. supplementary material 3

 Unknown (2.0 MB)
2.0 MB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Williamson et al. supplementary material
Williamson et al. supplementary material 5

 Unknown (12 KB)
12 KB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Williamson et al. supplementary material
Williamson et al. supplementary material 4

 Unknown (3.2 MB)
3.2 MB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Williamson et al. supplementary material
Williamson et al. supplementary material 6

 Unknown (15 KB)
15 KB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Williamson et al. supplementary material
Williamson et al. supplementary material 14

 Unknown (132 KB)
132 KB
WORD
Supplementary materials

Williamson et al. supplementary material
Williamson et al. supplementary material 1

 Word (12 KB)
12 KB
WORD
Supplementary materials

Williamson et al. supplementary material
Williamson et al. supplementary material 17

 Word (87 KB)
87 KB
WORD
Supplementary materials

Williamson et al. supplementary material
Williamson et al. supplementary material 18

 Word (67 KB)
67 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 332
Total number of PDF views: 107 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 1555 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 16th May 2018 - 21st May 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.