Cops and Crowds

  • Post category:Features
  • Reading time:2 mins read


By Darrell A. Hamlin

Fort Hays State University


Darrell Hamlin, associate professor of criminal justice at Fort Hays State University, explores the relationship between police and demonstrators to raise deeper questions about democratic life in an atmosphere of provocative change in the United States and around the globe. Hamlin considers several trends: growing political unrest; governments that are more confrontational with interest groups and political factions; and increasingly aggressive and militarized policing tactics deployed to handle agitated crowds. Trained in democratic theory and civic engagement, but serving criminal justice students in the university classroom, Hamlin brings both sides of the story—the crowds and the cops—into this TEDx Talk delivered in April of 2015. In this challenging civic moment, democracy faces two choices, Hamlin suggests: “We can invest in technology to disperse crowds, or we can invest in something that speaks to whatever is causing the crowds to gather.”


democracy, political unrest, political factions, governments



Author Biography

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Darrell A. Hamlin is an associate professor of criminal justice at Fort Hays State University (FHSU). He holds a B.A. in American studies from Baylor University and an MA and PhD in political science from Rutgers University. He has taught full time on the faculties of Rutgers University, Spring Hill College, and FHSU. A senior fellow at the Center for Civic Leadership at FHSU, Hamlin is also the leadership coach for students in the university’s Honors College. He has received awards for his scholarship, teaching, and service, and has been awarded grants for research and for educational development. As a writer, educator, consultant, and coach, he focuses on civic renewal, leadership, and expanded narratives of public life.