Black and Blue vs. Whites and their Crew

This will be the first of  a few posts on the interesting things Will Moore and I observed in Chicago this past weekend while conducting an observational study of the G8/NATO protests that builds on, and extends, Clark McPhail’s approach.  Our goal was to systematically evaluate the variation and escalatory dynamics present within contentious state-dissident interactions.  For a description of the project, see Matt Baggetta’s post or visit our site:  We will update that site later with  additional information regarding this project.

Last year I ran some embedded survey experiments with Rose McDermott and Dave Armstrong regarding protest-protest policing.  At one point, we sought to determine if responses would vary according to the race/ethnicity of the protestors and police.  One dyad concerned black police and white protestors.  To this, several readers questioned whether black cops “policed” white protesters.

While there were a large number of white officers and protestors at the event, there were also specific moments when the police force was almost exclusively African American with a predominately white protestor presence.

Below are some of the images that I shot.

Black police on both sides of the predominately white protest.


White commander in the middle, flanked on either side by mostly African American police.


Filed under Daily Disruption

2 responses to “Black and Blue vs. Whites and their Crew

  1. In the 1970s and 1980s I worked as a paralegal on various police misconduct and government surveillance lawsuits by victims; and also on the editorial board of Police Misconduct and Civil Rights Law Report. One of the factors considered by the attorneys in these cases was whether or not police who were people of color or women felt the need to act more aggressively in confrontations. Some did, some didn’t, and it had to do with the cohort culture of the specific city’s police department, and even the culture of specific police stations. Sometimes people of color and women felt they needed to “prove” themselves. Interrogatory questions were developed by our attorneys to check out these factors. The best plaintiff’s guide on these matters is Police Misconduct: Law & Litigation: Find it in law school libraries (because it costs over $500).


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