Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Violent Gang Roving Streets Of Berkeley...

... and they look like this:

   (Watch on YouTube.)

That was posted by Todd Zimmer three days ago.

I understand why cops are at protest events. I do NOT understand the justification for their wearing full riot gear, kettling peaceful protesters, taking pokes at people whom they may find annoying but who aren't threatening anybody, occasionally beating the crap out of one or another protester (or, worse, bystander or neighborhood resident), etc. Are antisocial tendencies the new unwritten requirement for anyone wanting to become a police officer?

I mean, these guys are not Chicago PD circa 1968, but why do they have to do this at all? Violence begets violence; irrational confrontation provokes irrational confrontation. You can't tell me this police behavior does one single thing to help keep the peace... and after all, when (as one officer said) they are "just doin' [their] job," that behavior has nothing whatsoever to do with their job. Wielding nightsticks at a mostly orderly crowd represents a failure to do the only legitimate job of a police officer faced with a crowd: keeping the peace.

(H/T jpmassar at Kos.)


  1. Read a while back that Blackwater (Academi, Xe, or whatever it calls itself nowadays) had a hand in training local police departments. That could explain the LACK of training on non-confrontational interactions with people; the ability to assess dangerous situations, being able to read body language, being patient with the mentally ill.... abilities that are lost when all the police know how to do is react violently and with guns drawn.

    1. ellroon, Berkeley is one of my very favorite small cities to spend time in (or at least it was in my younger years; it's been a while since I visited). I have some genuinely fond memories of people and events and even places to shop... a CD store dedicated to early (16th, 17th, 18th-century) music, an old love who got her law degree at Boalt, a concert by several world-renowned early musicians, a restaurant supplying great Indian meals along with live Indian music, a long-haired young man standing on a street corner handing out ultra-leftist reading material; what's not to like? The thought of a Berkeley PD inflicting the worst kind of policing on that public truly sickens me. Your explanation is as good as any I've seen for how things got to be that way. The only warning I ever got from friends when I was in Berkeley was "You're from Texas? remember NOT to cross streets against traffic signals!" Sigh!



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