Source Alert

SOURCE ALERT: Ferguson Protests Prompt Questions about Race Relations in America and Police Militarization

  • “There is a fundamental disconnect in political representation – 70% of Ferguson’s residents are African American and 100% of Ferguson’s elected officials are white, which sounds more like 1954 Mississippi than 2014 America. Where there is elite anxiety about shifting demographics and a population that feels alienated and unheard, you will have what happens in Ferguson.”

    Ange_Marie Hancock2 Ange-Marie Hancock

    An expert on political engagement, African American politics, black-Latino relations, and women in politics

  • “The trend away from paramilitary approaches to law enforcement toward community policing approaches, greeted with enthusiastic approval by community residents and expert observers alike, suffered a reversal in recent years largely due to the acquisition of military weapons and equipment by many municipal and county level police departments. Military armaments put more emotional and psychological distance between officers and citizens, and they undermine the ‘To Serve and Protect’ credo stenciled on the doors of many police cruisers.”

    Armour Jody David Armour

    Expert on gun control, law and racial profiling

  • “The recent images out of Ferguson are strikingly and disturbingly reminiscent of the occupied West Bank and other conflict zones I’ve reported from. To see protestors, their faces wrapped in scarves against tear-gas, confronting metal-clad, heavily-armed ‘security personnel’ firing rubber bullets from armored carriers, transports me to Ramallah or Jenin. The shock is when you understand that the occupation is at home.”

    Journalism professor Sandy Tolan Sandy Tolan

    Expert in international reporting, radio documentaries, and print and broadcast journalism