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View Diary: Riot Police Used Against Peaceful Supporters of Striking Walmart Workers (140 comments)

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  •  shouldn't be SOP (9+ / 0-)

    We don't have to accept this "SOP".  It's bullshit.  These are peaceful protestors not looking to engage.  The riot gear is used to discourage (future) protests, and it's unnecessary in a free society.  

    •  riot gear is used (4+ / 0-)

      for the safety of the police.

      while i agree this protest seemed amazingly peaceful, asking the police to get on scene and then make that determination is a waste of time and effort. or maybe you would rather they show up in bike shorts and tshirts and have to hope that no one in the crowd has a gun?

      i don't give a shit what they wear, as long as they do their jobs with thought and care, which is seems they did.

      •  Can you (7+ / 0-)

        List the number of law enforcement officers that have been beaten and or killed at peaceful protests in the U.S over the last 50 years? Riot gear for their protection? Lol naive.

        •  At peaceful protests? (5+ / 0-)
          List the number of law enforcement officers that have been beaten and or killed at peaceful protests in the U.S over the last 50 years?
          I would assume, by definition, zero.
        •  police don't know if it is peaceful (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          howarddream, thestructureguy

          until they get there.

          how about this analogy. the secret service don't know if there is going to be a shooter going after the president everytime he gets in AF1 or Marine 1 or a limo. but for damn sure i want them preparing as if there will be just in case.

          •  False equivelency (0+ / 0-)

            I would expect the president of the United Sates to have a detailed, massive, prepared security detail to deter threats against his life. Our history has shown time and time again that Republicans extremists with guns will murder presidents and try and killed our elected reps.

            I would NOT expect police officers in full riot gear to arrest grandma blocking traffic in front of a Walmart. The police do know if it will be peaceful before they get there. That is a fact. That is why in NYC they hold press conferences and say that while they know that the majority of protesters will be peaceful that they have to bring full riot gear, sonic canons, peper spray, armed cars road blockades, metal gates, security surveillance towers, helicopters, and of course guns to deter those darned street hooligans who might engage in civil disobedience and sit down in the street.

            •  but you're assuming (0+ / 0-)

              they know it's grandma and not 500 crazy gun toting anti-police lunatics.

              the fact is they don't know. they get a call, but they can't trust the information in the call because many times in the past those calls have been traps, leaving families without husbands, wives, fathers and mothers.

              look, i get the fact you hate the police do their job by the book and don't have the ability to take into account each situation separately. that's fine. I'm just saying you're making a lot of assumptions that people who put their lives on the line can't make.

              •  I do not hate the police. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                native, happymisanthropy

                I pay for them using my tax dollars. Paying taxes helps me buy civilization. My property is protected - I can safely travel back and forth from my home with a reasonable expectation that my life will not in danger. The fact is they do know what to expect and you have not addressed any of my points.

                 How can you possibly say they do not know when they have massive coordinated surveillance? Showing up in riot gear indicates quite clearly what they are expecting! The point has been to squash any protest - no matter what - if it carries a message against the 1% or corporations. Peaceful protests! I've been participating in street demonstrations since I was a kid - even during the 2004 republican national convention in nyc the police did not turn up in riot and somehow - just somehow the city survived when there were over 1 million people in the streets.

                Look, I get fact that you have never been the victim of police violence, have never seen an old woman pepper sprayed, have never been thrown to the ground for holding a sign, have been arrested for dancing, for drawing chalk on the sidewalks, for singing. I get that but that would mean me making a lot of assumptions about your life and not having a conversation.

                •  I will say (0+ / 0-)

                  that I do hate that the police do their job by the book. The book that was written after 9/11.

                  •  so when i said (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    thestructureguy

                    "look, i get the fact you hate the police do their job by the book and don't have the ability to take into account each situation separately."

                    you agree.

                    showing up in riot gear means the exact opposite of what you mean. it shows they don't know what to expect.

                    and local police forces do now have a "massive corrdinated surveilance". they just don't. they have 911 and the hope they're being told the truth.

                    you're right, i've never been arrested for any of those things. judging by your response you've never looked someone in the eye and had to ask them about their father or mother who was killed on the job at a call where no violence was expected. you've never had to call up a mother of a fallen police officer asking if she'd like to do an interview about her son. you most likely have not say through a half dozen police funerals, where every single person says it could have been prevented by things like a bullet proof vest.

                    different life experiences lead two people to different conclusions. that's how i'm seeing this.

                    •  I'll (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      happymisanthropy

                      write out a longer response when I get home but by your logic if the police get a call to help a cat stuck in a tree they must collectively throw their hands up in the air and say
                      "Jesus! We can't possibly know what to expect with that cat up in the tree!!

                      There might be an armed gofer under the tree waiting to pounce up on us - bust out the riot gear!!!"

                      •  sorry, gonna be an ass for a second (0+ / 0-)

                        firefighters are the one who responds to cats stuck in trees (and they usually refuse to do so these days due to budget cuts)

                        sorry - can't help myself

                        i'm not saying what the police do is the best way, or the right way, i'm just saying it's what they're told, and taught, and trained to do. and when the SOP are put into place, or changed, I don't believe it's to intimidate grandmothers on a protest line. I belive it's genuinely for a safety reason.

                        Again, not saying what the police do is right, or the best way. all i was trying to do was point out that outrage over the clothing being worn seems minor at best beacuse those cops don't truely have a choice.

              •  Are you kidding? (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                chuckvw, Tool, happymisanthropy
                they know it's grandma and not 500 crazy gun toting anti-police lunatics.
                Seriously, if the police cannot tell the difference, then they are certainly not worth the salaries we're paying them.

                "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

                by Lost Left Coaster on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 01:48:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  they can (0+ / 0-)

                  when they get to the scene of course.

                  just not from a 911 call because 911 calls are infamous for being riddled with incorrect statements.

                  would it make you feel better if they came out in their normal work blues, saw what was going on, then changed on the scene when needed?

                  •  911 call? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    happymisanthropy

                    Was there a 911 call? And the cops raced to the scene where the protestors had already gathered? Is that what happened here? For the vast majority of protests I have been to, the police know that it is going to happen or is about to happen, and they don't get a single frantic 911 call (OH MY GOD PROTESTORS IN FRONT OF OUR BUILDING!!!) that you seem to be assuming must have happened.

                    I have never in my life been to a protest where the cops weren't there first. Never. Sometimes reinforcements come (and god knows that those middle aged people wearing matching t-shirts sure looked dangerous!), but I suspect (although I can't be sure) that this scenario of a single 911 call quickly summoning all the cops to the scene of a rapidly growing and completely unpredictable protest are probably not quite representative of reality. But I wasn't there, so I can't be sure that the cops weren't caught totally off-guard by this protest.

                    "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

                    by Lost Left Coaster on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 02:29:33 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  What? (7+ / 0-)

        I have seen cops in bike shorts deal with protestors. I used to live in Washington, DC, and the police there rarely don riot gear when dealing with demonstrations. I never saw it, actually, even when I was watching protestors get arrested right in front of the White House. Each protestor was arrested by a pair of cops in normal uniform, and this was with a crowd of hundreds looking on.

        You think that the police should not assess situations and respond accordingly? THIS IS WHAT THEY DO 24/7! This is their job. If they didn't assess situations, in order to respond appropriately, they would be patrolling our streets in tanks. However, it seems that this latter scenario is no longer so far-fetched...

        "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

        by Lost Left Coaster on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 11:49:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The MFF is a unit of security personal (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lost Left Coaster

          When they are called out.  That is what they look like.

          The question is:  Who decided to activate this unit?

          And who decided months or years ago that commissioning, or contracting out for such a unit was the way to handle crowd control??

          Are any of those folks elected?  If not who appointed them?

          How do locals feel about it?  Is there a way to build local push-back and accountability?

          Computer screen outrage will go no where unless it is turned into something that puts pressure on the local decision points that led to the creation and activation of this force in this circumstance.

          •  You're right on all counts (0+ / 0-)

            And local people need to let their city government know how they feel about this.

            "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

            by Lost Left Coaster on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 01:49:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  by that logic, shouldn't they dress like that... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lost Left Coaster

        all the time then? If they respond to a call about a shooting or robbery or other violence, it's obvious there is greater potential for harm to them in those situations than one with a bunch of people with signs protesting corporate greed.

        Riot gear by law enforcement at an assembly of citizens like this is a show of force and intimidation, plain and simple.

        "Watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical, a liberal, fanatical, criminal..."-7.75, -5.54

        by solesse413 on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 12:07:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  they do (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          thestructureguy

          when they're called in for things like bomb threats, hostages, catching a burglar/robber in the act etc.

          swat cars, body armor, high powered weapons, etc. prepare for the worse, hope for the best.

        •  They responded when the local cops that (0+ / 0-)

          were there and in their normal uniform decided that arrests were necessary for illegal blocking.  Making arrests are a total unknown.  You don't know how an individual or a group will respond.

          Romney is George W. Bush without brains.

          by thestructureguy on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 02:34:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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