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One of the most worrying aspects of this drama is what it reveals about US crowd-control methods. In Europe, many police forces have started to accept that the traditional model of public-order policing, which treats all crowds as potentially dangerous, often makes things worse. This model dates back to the French Revolution, which seeded the idea that crowds turn people into primitive, dysfunctional automata, and that the only way to deal with protestors is to attack, disperse or "kettle" them – a draconian form of containment.
Such tactics are slowly being abandoned in Europe because social psychologists have demonstrated time and again that they can have a dramatic and often catastrophic effect on how people in crowds behave. They have found that the way a protest is marshalled has a greater influence on whether it ends peacefully or violently than the actions of any hooligan minority within the crowd. This puts the police in a powerful position, even before they take aim with rubber bullets or tear gas.
In the US, however, police appear still to cling to the old "riot squad" methods. They are wedded to the idea that large protest groups are inherently dangerous and that force is the best way to deal with them. The so-called "war on drugs" and fears of terrorism post-9/11 have encouraged US authorities to equip their law enforcement agencies with military-style weapons and other high-octane hardware. Containment takes precedence over negotiation every time.
originally posted by: Iamthatbish
What you propose seems to be do nothing. So more people will die and be injured.
No. I prefer to speak out and ask that our LEOs receive the training required to interact with the public as we are. Not the public they want us to be.
originally posted by: NthOther
It's not police tactics that we need to change (nor can we change them).
They're completely brainwashed, and there isn't a psychological or sociological study in the world that is ever going to change that.
Forget trying to change the police. We are not going to "convince them" of anything. We need to come up with innovative methods of resistance for which the police are not prepared. The onus is on us. It is our responsibility, not the cops, the politicians, or the social scientists.