27 October 2011


what it looked like to be there (warning: contains loud swearing and people acting like they’re in a movie)

NYT blog

Well, firing any sort of weapon at peaceful protestors is just wrong. People who would do that or order it should not be cops, because cops should have a level head and a sense of what amount of force is appropriate.

The Oakland PD says some individual protestors were throwing bottles and bricks. That seems likely enough—I don’t mean to give the impression I think all the protestors were model citizens on their best behavior—but it’s also no excuse. Individual drunks and troublemakers can be arrested individually. It can be done without weapons drawn. This may not be conventional wisdom among cops anymore, but to me it’s just common sense.

Ordinary cops, behaving the way cops behave across the country, turned this nonevent into a bizarre police-only riot. Two cops were hurt. Several citizens were hurt. They’re lucky it wasn’t much worse. What’s next for Oakland is up to Oakland. But the conventional wisdom has got to change.

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