Jan. 14 (UPI) -- New research shows that police in the United States are roughly three times more likely to use force against liberal-leaning protesters than their conservative-leaning counterparts -- a contrast that many say was on display during last week's attack at the U.S. Capitol.
Data from the U.S. Crisis Monitor -- a joint project at Princeton University's Bridging Divides Initiative and the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project that examines political violence worldwide -- show that American law enforcement have a track record of treating the two groups differently, regardless of whether the protests include violence or not.
Between May and December of last year, for example, police forcibly attempted to break up and disperse liberal protests at a rate more than two times greater than they did for conservative events, the monitor shows.
The liberal groups noted by the data include Black Lives Matter, and those on the conservative end include anti-mask groups, pro-Trump activists, QAnon rallies and militia gatherings.
Roudabeh Kishi, ACLED director of research and innovation, said the research notes that greater than 90% of BLM protests involved no violence -- but police still often responded with force.
"Even if we were to put [the less-frequent violent BLM] demonstrations aside and look purely at peaceful [BLM protests], we are seeing a more heavy-handed response," Kishi said.
The updated research noted that police have used tear gas, rubber bullets, batons and other methods of force against demonstrators at more than 500 liberal-classified events -- but did the same at just 33 conservative protests -- since last spring.
The monitor's report came about a week after a radical pro-Trump protesters assaulted police at the U.S. Capitol after attending a rally led by President Donald Trump.
The violent attack, which caused five deaths, was immediately followed by outcry from numerous observers who said authorities at the Capitol responded far less severely than did police several months earlier during anti-racism protests in Washington, D.C., that followed the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota.
Donald Trump supporters breach Capitol, riot over election results
Supporters of President Donald Trump riot against the Electoral College vote count on Wednesday in protest of Trump's loss to President-elect Joe Biden, prompting a lockdown of the Capitol Building. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo