Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 5-2018


The repeated occurrences of protest violence during or following Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstrations has been an issue for the United States since the mass demonstrations of Ferguson, MO in August of 2014. Since then, the United States has experienced a trend of organized demonstrations which follow officer-involved shootings of primarily African American civilians. How and why communities around the nation react to police violence can vary, as do the explanations for the responses of community members, demonstrators, and police officers. The protests of Ferguson, MO (2014) and of North Minneapolis, MN (2015) were similarly prompted by police shootings but each experienced a different kind of protest and police response. This thesis explores how different theoretical perspectives illuminate differences between how Ferguson and North Minneapolis reacted to police violence and argues that multiple theories are needed for analyzing such protests.