Master of Arts
This research evaluated police response to protests and considered crowd management and control in the wake of the George Floyd era of protests. The research reviewed the history of crowd management and control and evaluated new methods to increase police legitimacy. It proposed the adoption of the Elaborated Social Identity Model of crowd control and provided agencies with additional recommendations that may increase ethical decision-making. It proposed that forming multi-jurisdictional mobile field force teams for crowd management and control will increase the professionalism of the police and help ensure the rights and safety of those participating in First Amendment activities. The research provided constructive considerations for establishing a team and examples of real-world functioning multi-jurisdictional teams in Minnesota. The research acknowledged and evaluated the stress protests place on officers who respond to crowd events and the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder. It suggested that police could use cognitive behavioral therapy to prevent and treat officer stress and post-traumatic stress disorder of officers assigned to crowd management and control teams. Further, it recommended changes to police protocol during protests and additional training to reduce officer stress.