I was asked if “police should have to endure this kind of abuse? “That’s the wrong question.
On one hand they did a good job of not reacting even when physically attacked (I really love the technology that keeps them mostly safe — and by extension keeps the protestors safe. This is because the police are in less danger from lower levels of force, lessening the need for counter force/reaction.) So while I am not comfortable with the verbal abuse and attacks, welcome to what people are calling a ‘peaceful protests’ these days. This video shows it’s not what what you probably think it is. This was a situation THIS close to exploding. That’s what the cops avoided by not responding to deliberate provocation and physical attacks. As such, good job in these instances. It let the people vent and protest and things didn’t go sideways even though emotions were high.
On the other hand, things did get out of hand elsewhere. (Which hey you know what? Even though apologists like to say it’s undercover instigators who provoke, raw footage shows how close to a mob, angry protestors are. So maybe, just maybe it’s not covert government instigators stirring shit up in every incident)
Another issue is how brave people get when in a crowd. It’s a free pass for bad, aggressive, hostile and insulting behavior (Which is a thin hair from destructive and violent behavior). The anonymity of being in a crowd is a free pass for doing something you know is unacceptable behavior and at the same time very self-soothing. Which let’s not deny the sheer ego boost of “I talked shit to a cop and got away with it.”
This self-soothing needs to be looked at and understood, because it brings up another issue. This shit is fun. That is to say it’s exciting, intense and very much a pressure release. You get your ya-yas and get off on the intense emotion. I mean fuck, talk about entertainment. This beats dinner and a movie hands down. While rednecks and those not as smart as us get off on tailgating and football games, this is how we get all excited, tribal and have a good time. (The problem is like soccer hooligans shit can get out of control real quick when people are in this mindset).
The reason I said wrong question about ‘should police…’ is all of these points aren’t a black and white issue. There’s a huge grayscale going on here and it becomes a matter of judgement and ‘it depends.’ Protestors want to push things towards the end of the scale they want. Whereas it’s a cops job to look out for the rest of the pubic.
How do you balance the two? How far is too far towards either end of the scale?