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"Race, Place, and Suburban Policing"Too Close for Comfort$
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Andrea S. Boyles

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780520282384

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520282384.001.0001

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“It’s the same song …”

“It’s the same song …”

The Tragedies of Kevin Johnson and Charles “Cookie” Thornton

(p.133) Four “It’s the same song …”
"Race, Place, and Suburban Policing"

Andrea S. Boyles

University of California Press

Chapter 5 delves into the lives of Kevin Johnson and Charles “Cookie” Thornton, two black men from Meacham Park. In 2005, Johnson shot and killed a Kirkwood police sergeant, and in 2008, Thornton went on a murderous shooting rampage in Kirkwood’s city hall. This chapter also accounts for how study participants perceived the police prior to and following the two shootings and how, through vicarious contacts, both incidents came to be characterized as a result of police negligence and harassment. Lastly, this chapter describes the experiences of Meacham Park residents with multiple police agencies and how some grappled with what they believed to be preexisting stereotypes of blacks, which were now exacerbated and confirmed by the actions of their neighbors, Johnson and Thornton.

Keywords:   race, blacks, police, shootings, Kevin Johnson, Charles “Cookie” Thornton, rampage

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