“It appeared to be a phenomenon that’s unique to Donald Trump’s rally,” Christopher Morrison, the lead author of the study, told the New York Times on Friday.
Researchers evaluated 31 campaign events held by Trump and 38 held by his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, during the general election. They found an average of 2.3 more assaults in cities on days that Trump rallies were held. There was no correlation between an increase in violence and Clinton rallies.
On a normal day in 2016, US cities noted an average of 19.4 violent incidents. On days when Trump was rallying, they reported an average of 21.7 assaults.
According to Slate, there were 20 violent incidents between October 2015 and June 2016 at Trump events during his campaign.
Three of the incidents were spurred by anti-Trump protesters, while 14 of the attacks were perpetrated by Trump supporters.
Trump frequently encouraged violent behavior during his rallies. In February 2016, he urged a crowd in Iowa to “knock the crap out of” protesters, promising to “pay for legal fees.”
Weeks later, he said “I’d like to punch him in the face,” referring to protester who was escorted out of his Nevada rally.
According to researchers, the rise in assaults on the days of Trump rallies were frequently caused by the “aggressive mood” exhibited by Trump and his supporters. In addition, the increased number of police at Trump rallies may have also contributed to the likelihood that an assault was reported on those days.