Public Library of Science
We examine whether retaliatory violence exists between law enforcement and citizens while controlling for any social media contagion effect related to prior fatal encounters. Analyzed using a trivariate dynamic structural vector-autoregressive model, daily time-series data over a 21-month period captured the frequencies of police killed in the line of duty, police deadly use of force incidents, and social media coverage. The results support a significant retaliatory violence effect against minorities by police, yet there is no evidence of retaliatory violence against law enforcement officers by minorities. Also, social media coverage of the Black Lives Matter movement increases the risk of fatal victimization to both law enforcement officers and minorities. Possible explanations for these results are based in rational choice and terror management theories.
Bejan, Vladimir; Hickman, Matthew; Parkin, William S.; and Pozo, Veronica F., "Primed for death: Law enforcement-citizen homicides, social media, and retaliatory violence" (2018). Applied Economics Faculty Publications. Paper 1267.