1. Missouri Electronic Journal of Sociology - 2017


A Review of Ferguson, Missouri’s Civil Rights Police Reports: Using the Criminal Justice System to Demonize Minorities

Gary Kowaluk

Lincoln University

ABSTRACT: The events in Ferguson, Missouri following the shooting death of Michael Brown prompted the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate the Ferguson Police Department. On March 4, 2015, the DOJ released the results of their investigation. In addition, the Missouri Advisory Committee to the U.S Commission on Civil Rights conducted hearings on the Ferguson Police, releasing the results in a June, 2016 report. Together the reports provide numerous descriptions of police and court misconduct. However, no unifying theory is presented in either report, making it difficult to remember and apply the misconduct evidence. A systematic search for a unifying theory to explain the application of criminal law in pre-Michael Brown Ferguson, Missouri indicates demonization theory best explains the misconduct evidence. After presenting an overview of demonization theory, this study applies the misconduct evidence from the two civil rights reports in support of the argument that demonization occurred in Ferguson.

Keywords: demonization, collective conscience, essentialism, relative depravation, ontological

insecurity. (Open Article MEJS Vol 14 - Kowaluk.pdf

 Missouri Electronic Journal of Sociology

[Missouri Electronic Journal of Sociology: volume 14:1-27 (2017-18)]


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