03 September 2008

Cop Attacked

Interesting dynamic going on here. A cop is dragging a protester through the streets. The cop is attacked by an unarmed protester, freeing his fellow protester. The cop then retaliates with pepper spray to fend ensure the crowd doesn’t attack him.

There are a couple of ways to respond to this. It is possible to sympathize with the cop; but, my inclination is to side with the protesters. In my opinion the cop made a dangerous error in judgment. We’re lucky people escaped with just a pepper spray and a few bruises.

* First of all, there is already a really high tension situation. People are becoming desperate in their stance toward the government. More and more of our civil liberties are being crushed. The economy is spiraling downward. Peaceful protest is slow to have an effect. So the protests can easily turn to vandalism and violence.
* Secondly, peaceful groups, some of which really are likely to be innocent, have been targeted over the past year with infiltration.
* Third, extremely reckless raids were perpetrated by the police in the last couple of days against gathering protesters. Sure, some of the protesters were likely spoiling for some vandalism. Sure, traffic was going to be shut down and the convention slightly disrupted. But many of those targetted were not going to do more than block some traffic. That’s hardly worth breaking into a home at gunpoint and carting people off to jail. This one makes even me think about taking up arms against the Police State.
* Fourth, that cop was alone in a volatile situation without backup. He had weapons at his side. People are angry. He was taking much to big of a risk. He may actually be a “good cop”; but, this failure in judgment is not excusable. He’s paid to do his job professionally. Putting himself in a dangerous situation, particularly with a weapon at his side, is not acceptable job performance.
* Finally, his indiscriminate use of pepper spray is probably forgivable given a paranoid mind set. Although he never should have put himself in the position he was in, it is conceivable that he truly felt he was personally in danger. In a country that wasn’t full of WATB he would have been in danger and his blue suited behind would have been pummeled senseless. So he reacted in what he felt was self defense against a hostile crowd. The fact that the crowd was teenage girls and boys in shorts and tee-shirts is kinda silly and shows his paranoia. The few masked people there could have been targeted individually had he not panicked.

So, all in all I do feel the cop had it coming. He performed his job poorly and so lost the arrest and got his ego bruised. He put people, himself and the community, in danger in a context that was way over his head.

Hopefully this coming revolution is resolved before it gets too violent.

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