Professor of Criminal Justice, Michigan State University
- Six themes resulted from the assessment: inconsistent leadership; failure to understand community concerns and community relationships; reactive rather than proactive strategy; inadequate communication and information sharing; use of ineffective and inappropriate tactics and strategies; and lack of law enforcement response continuity.
- Tactics used by police agencies responding to the protests and demonstrations in Ferguson increased tensions between protestors and law enforcement and escalated rather than de-escalated the situation.
- “Stress and pressure” that responding officers experienced as a result of working long hours and facing “unprecedented levels of abuse” may have contributed to their lapses in judgment and uncharacteristic behavior.
In the article, “After-Action Assessment of the Police Response to the August 2014 Demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri,” Carter and his co-authors examine the police response to the mass gatherings, protests, peaceful and violent demonstrations following the shooting of Michael Brown in St. Louis County. In order to identify findings that law enforcement agencies throughout the country can use to help build trust, improve relationships and protect civil rights in the communities they serve. St. Louis County Police Department, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Ferguson Police Department were selected for the assessment because they were the primary responders to the incidents.