Posted in A2 Sociology: Crime and Deviance

Michael Brown Protests: Militarisation of the US Police

There have been four nights of protests thus far in St Louis, Missouri over the police shooting of Michael Brown. There are parallels to be drawn between the unrest in the summer of 2011 which was also triggered by the police shooting of Mark Duggan.

The police response in St Lous has been heavily criticised for being militaristic and is seen by many as a general trend in American society:

http://billmoyers.com/2014/08/13/not-just-ferguson-11-eye-opening-facts-about-americas-militarized-police-forces/

Will the UK follow America’s lead? Boris Johnson has ordered water cannons for London…however, it appears that at the moment, the government is not keen to militarise UK forces too much:

http://www.politics.co.uk/reference/police-arms-and-weaponry

Moreover, the unrest surely signals a deep rooted tension between the police and many American citizens. In this case, many African Americans feel furious about the amount of times they are stopped and searched by an overwhelmingly white police force.

Furthermore, it seems that the life chances for local residents are poor. Only 35% of students in the district pass maths tests and 41% pass the English test used by the state to assess schools.

About 22% of Missouri’s residents live below the federal poverty line.

ferguson getty sniper

police officer ferguson

Missouri riot police

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Author:

Sociology and Media Studies teacher at Hazelwick School, West Sussex. Former teacher at Felpham Community College and Doha College

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