In The News: Did Racial Profiling Play a Part in Michael Brown’s Death in Ferguson?

August 22, 2014

michael-brown-ferguson-missouri-2014-billboard-650Tensions have remained high in Ferguson, Missouri since Officer Darren Wilson shot 18 year-old Michael BrownCBC reported on Monday that Brown’s autopsy revealed that Officer Wilson had shot the teen six times, including one fatal shot to the head. According to Officer Wilson, Brown reached for his gun during  a struggle with police. However, Dr. Michael M. Baden, the former medical examiner for N.Y.C, performed the autopsy and said there was no sign of a struggle and that Brown “could have survived all of [his gunshot wounds], except for the one to the top of the brain.” Witnesses that were at the scene reported that Brown was surrendering, with his hands held above his head, when he was shot. His death has recently heightened racial tensions between the predominantly black community and the mostly white police department. In an effort to relieve the violence in Missouri, Governor Jay Nixon called in the National Guard last week.

In volume 46 of the Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, author Thomas Gabor explores the controversy surrounding “racial profiling” and the debate that has ignited due to its varied connotations in “Inflammatory Rhetoric on Racial Profiling Can Undermine Police Services“. The article delves into the details of this tactic without focusing on specific instances, and discusses how its inflammatory nature can lead police departments to fall victim to an extreme and sometimes violent level of scrutiny, like what has occurred in Ferguson, Missouri.

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