Harvard Professor's Research Shows Media Its Responsibility for Black Deaths and the Media Told Him to Be Silent

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The call to defund or even dissolve the police has reached heights that no sane person could have imagined it would. Luckily, once the calls started going up, research began into finding out what would really happen if we did. According to one Harvard professor, the results will be nothing short of deadly and the media, not the police, is far more to blame than many people understand.


According to the College Fix, Harvard economist Roland Fryer, the youngest black man to ever receive tenure at Harvard, warned that the elimination of police from various communities could result in thousands of black lives taken.

“Defunding the police is not a solution and could cost thousands of black lives,” Fryer told The College Fix.

Fryer continued, saying that the “streets are talking and we should listen” to the frustration being professed by many about the “big racial differences” in “almost every part of life.” However, after some in-depth research, Fryer’s data showed that without the police, things become a lot more fatal for the black community.

As The College Fix highlighted, Fryer concluded that the problem doesn’t actually lay with the police but with the virility of the shooting. In other words, how much national attention the shooting gets directly results in further felonies and fatalities:

Fryer and Harvard doctoral student Tanaya Devi studied “Pattern-or-Practice” investigations into viral incidents of alleged police brutality that involved a black person who died. Each reviewed video of these incidents had received at least 2 million views at the time of the study.

“Pattern-or-Practice” investigations are used by federal and state governments to mitigate unconstitutional police activity including, but not limited to, excessive force and racial bias.

According to the Harvard scholars’ working paper on the impact of these investigations into police activity on homicide and crime rates, published in early June, the investigations resulted in “almost 900 excess homicides and almost 34,000 excess felonies.”

This spike in the crime rate occurred over the course of two years in the five cities where those deaths and viral incidents occurred: Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Laquan McDonald in Chicago, Timothy Thomas in Cincinnati, Tyisha Miller in Riverside, California, and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

While the underlying cause of this dramatic spike is unknown, Fryer and Devi hypothesize that it is caused by a substantial decrease in proactive police activity.


According to Fryer, police officers do not want to be the next nationally infamous officer that shot someone and became the excuse for riots and protests to kick off. They begin avoiding interacting with their community in a proactive manner despite the fact that 911 call volumes and response times stay consistent, resulting in many more dead.

Certain shootings that did not result in national media attention did not cause fatality or felony rates to increase. While additional research is still needed to find the direct cause of the increase in homicides, the real culprit seems to be the media.

And the media, according to Fryer, isn’t wanting to give him the time of day about it. Fryer attempted to show his information to the media but was dismissed out of hand. According to the Harvard professor, the media has an “absolute refusal to grapple with the data,” and what’s more, there was an “insistence” that he shouldn’t publicize the data at all.

So what we have here is mounting evidence that the media’s involvement in the loss of black life in America is substantial and a professor attempting to show the media its fault. The media’s response was to not only ignore him but to encourage the professor to be silent about it.


Not long ago I wrote an article urging Americans to discontinue looking at the media as the public service that they claim themselves to be and more like a business with a vested interest in making you watch in order to generate more revenue. This is demonstrated very perfectly here.

The media wants to be looked at as a trusted household name that provides you up-to-the-minute news on any given situation. In truth, the media is too often a sensationalist storyteller that will feed you misinformation in order to generate fear and outrage. Should information like Fryer’s get out, the public may turn against the media’s handling of any given event and tune out.

(READ: Remember That the Media Is a Business With a Vested Interest in Disaster, Not a Service)

This country has a lot of problems that we need to work through, and the media is definitely one of them.


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