If Cops Understood Crowd Psychology, They’d Tone Down The Riot Gear

Citizens, not serfs

Eric Jaffe writes at Co-Design: One of the clearest lessons from Ferguson is that the militarization of local police has become a major problem across the United States. Images ofgrotesquely armed …

Source: If Cops Understood Crowd Psychology, They’d Tone Down The Riot Gear

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One thought on “If Cops Understood Crowd Psychology, They’d Tone Down The Riot Gear

  1. Rifleman III 07/07/2016 / 9:01 AM

    I don’t believe the writer has ever been in any riot situation. I have.
    Over the years, equipment and tactics changed to meet demands of administrators, politicians, and very little in the way of protecting those on the front lines in any riot situation – guys like myself.
    Crowds get fueled and Baltimore is prime example of allowing a crowd run wild.
    You do not want menacing, by police however, an excellent deterrent remains, police in riot gear, and willing to back up their presence with appropriate actions within lawful guidelines.
    I have been assaulted in riots. Demonstrations get out of hand by agitators. During one demonstration, I knew it was going to be baloney. I was going end of tour, and ordered to stay on overtime. What was the point, as I was always admonished not to get physical. I rarely needed a nightstick, I had a grip like a bear trap. Okay, I get my helmet and nightstick, then told, put the toys away. What? This is authorized equipment for mobilization. Again they repeated put the toys, away, and we went to a demonstration, to give a “soft” appearance. Don’t get the college kids excited. Their tuition was stomped on by NYS. Few kids got stupid, and were “removed”, I was warned loudly, to “be nice”. No problem. The kids were laying in the roadway with locked arms. I told two kids, “move over”. They huddled tighter. I said it again and got between them and hey, I drag 400 pound people down stairways, I’m beyond strong, so I just move their Gumby arms, and lay down with them and lock arms with them. All the kids laughed and cheered. The lieutenant shouted for me to get up, but I said, “you ordered me not to get physical with them”. I was written up. It went to Charges & Specifications. I explained that I was ordered as I was going home. Then ordered not to have authorized equipment. Then ordered not to do anything. What was the point? The brass looked like they were in a fly trapping contest with open mouths. I was told to leave. Paperwork dropped at the command maybe two or three days later, All Charges, Dismissed. But it remained in my personnel folder and brought up years later when I was reviewed for promotion to lieutenant and passed over for promotion.
    If you go to riots, have your Game Face on, and be prepared to use physical force, or simply don’t go, at all. Riots are no place for, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, nice guy stuff. Be more like, Dick Butkus.

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