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In the late summer of 2014, an unarmed young black man, Michael Brown, was approached by police officers as he walked in the street in Ferguson, Missouri. Five minutes later, he was dead with six gunshots in his body – two to his head. Grief turned to rage in his neighborhood when the mainly white police department responded using military force, and the rage grew more volatile. The Department of Justice is now investigating. This was not an isolated event this summer. Eric Garner in Staten Island and John Crawford in Ohio were both killed by police. Marlene Pinnock was repeatedly punched in the head by a police officer in Los Angeles. Neither these deaths and assault, nor the impassioned responses, occurred in a vacuum.
This report, released in the fall of 2014, details the social science that can help us understand the day-to-day dynamics of race and how to alter the circumstances that too often culminate in tragedy.