The Ferguson Effect Reinterpreted

Most people recognize that the United States is experiencing a social change that has the possibility to be interpreted by future historians as transformational. A substantial component of this change has affected the law enforcement community in an unpredictable manner. In fact, this societal shift has not only affected the manner in which law enforcement conducts its daily business with the community, but also impacted the expectations that communities have regarding the services they receive from their respective police departments.

Although there have been multiple incidents that can be linked with this change, the one that probably most thoroughly captures the essence of this transformational era is the shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer in the city of Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9, 2014. Despite many people never having heard of Ferguson before this incident, the riots and public outcry for justice quickly made Ferguson a household name.