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Will the US see a massive riot in 2020?

Cross-posted on Metaculus.

Incidents of civil unrest are not terribly uncommon in the United States, but large-scale rioting is quite rare. One of the most severe incidents in recent history was the 1992 Los Angeles riots, during which more than 60 people were killed, more than 2,350 people were injured, and more than 12,000 people were arrested. Property damage was estimated at more than $1bn.

As of March 2020, the US is affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Several large population centers have been effectively shut down as a result of government orders that attempt to slow the spread of the pandemic.

As a result of the pandemic and associated economic shutdowns, incidents of panic buying have been reported, and dire predictions of severe economic contraction have been made.

Given the potential socio-economic impact of the pandemic, it may become increasingly difficult for many people to maintain their employment or other income source, and as of March 22 2020 it is unclear if the US government will offer all citizens a sufficient measure of economic support during the crisis to maintain the social order.

This question asks: Will the United States experience an incident of a massive riot in 2020?

For the purposes of this question, 'massive riot' is defined as an event of rioting or civil unrest in which any of the following conditions is met:

  1. At least 50 people die due to violence, either due to the actions of rioters or other civilians, or police, military, national guard, or other law enforcement or government agents.

  2. At least 10,000 people are arrested by police, military, national guard, or other law enforcement or government agents.

  3. Property damages are credibly estimated at $1 billion or more. This estimate may come from either the local government of the locality in which the incident takes place, the state government, the federal government, or a major US news publication such as the New York Times, Washington Post, or major broadcast news networks.

Such events should take place in a 100km radius, and within 14 days. As an example, the LA riots would count, but rioting that is spread across all of California or that occurs in separate phases over a long time period would not count if no single incident met any of the above criteria.

Resolution should cite a government statement or credible news reports that indicate that any of the above conditions have been met by an event of rioting.

ETA 2020-06-03: For homicides to count toward the overall death toll, the deaths have to occur within the context of an event of rioting or civil unrest; deaths from a generic mass shooting or a series of homicides that occur outside of the context of a riot shouldn't count towards the 50.


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