Perpetua: The UAH Journal of Undergraduate Research


College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences


Political Science


This research is an attempt to discover how gentrification and police brutality are related. Drawing on scholarship from social scientists who have researched the implications of gentrification at length and from those who have examined the underlying cause of why the use of excessive force by a security apparatus may occur, I extrapolate a relationship between the two events and conclude that they are in fact related. For the purpose of this analysis, gentrification is defined as spatial segregation through the reclamation of lower-class, urban space by middle and upper-class citizens. This reclamation of urban spaces displaces those of lower socioeconomic classes (typically composed of people of color), colonizes the space for the middle and upper-classes, and relies heavily on legitimized auspices of power such as a police force. Police brutality is defined as the use of excessive force, at times resulting in death, by a publicly-funded security force. The research of this paper will suggest that when people of color are conspicuously displaced they become perceived as intruders within their own communities and heightened police surveillance escalates situations of tension into a threat.



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