Theses Master's

“An Autistic Man Lives Here Cops No Excuses… Oh Yes He Is Black Too”: Cognitive Disability, Race and Police Brutality in the United States

Abramov, Elinoam

This thesis explores the relationship between race and cognitive disability in police brutality cases. For the first time in academia, it systematically investigates cases where police officers have used excessive force against individuals with cognitive disabilities, using of The Guardian newspaper’s database on police killing and independently conducted research. It draws on the literature on the role of mental illness in police brutality cases, as well as historical literature on race and cognitive disability to inform conclusions on the criminalisation of people of colour with cognitive disabilities; ultimately showing how a historically entrenched and mutually reinforcing racist and ableist system has criminalised mentally disabled people of colour, making them more likely to be perceived as dangerous by police.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Thesis Advisors
Mishler, Max A.
M.A., Columbia University
Published Here
December 1, 2017