Police three times more likely to use force against left-wing protests: analysis

U.S. police are three times as likely to use force against Black Lives Matter demonstrators and other left-wing protests than they are against right-wing or pro-Trump protesters, according to a Guardian analysis of data compiled by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data (ACLED) project’s U.S. Crisis Monitor database.

The analysis found that since April, police responded to left-wing protests with methods like batons, rubber bullets and tear gas on 511 occasions, compared to 33 right-wing protests.

The Guardian’s analysis found this translated to use of force at 4.7 percent of left-wing protests and 1.4 percent of right-wing ones.

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When the analysis was restricted to peaceful protests, police were even more likely to respond with force.

Police used such methods against 1.8 percent of peaceful left-wing protests compared to 0.5 percent of peaceful right-wing protests.

Law enforcement was also about twice as likely to intervene in left-wing protests than right-wing ones in general, with police arresting participants or otherwise intervening in 9 percent of them since April. Comparatively, they intervened in 4 percent of right-wing demonstrations in the same period.

The ACLED analysis found both right-wing and left-wing demonstrations over the past year were overwhelmingly peaceful, including 94 percent of left-wing protests and 96 percent of right-wing protests.

This aligns with an earlier study indicating 93 percent of Black Lives Matter protests were nonviolent and free of property damage.

“Police are not just engaging more because [left-wing protests] are more violent. They’re engaging more even with peaceful protesters,” Roudabeh Kishi, ACLED’s director of research and innovation, told the Guardian. “That’s the clear trend.”