I can rant and rave all day and all night about the many systemic problems we have with law enforcement in America. Too militarized; too isolated from the the people they are supposed “to protect and serve;” far too willing to protect their authority over absolutely harmless people…up to the point of shooting them; part of the disgusting schemes of most municipalities to use policing to increase their revenues via ticketing; and about a million other reasons.
But when people riot? All bets are off. I want the cops to swing those batons and bowl people over and shoot them with pepper spray, non-lethal rounds, and lethal rounds if the lives of the police or innocents are at any risk. I want them to use snipers to shoot anyone throwing incendiaries. I want them to arrest everybody, including the media stoking the fires of insurrection, the hilariously misnamed Antifa and BLM “medics,” who claim some sort of immunity, and then toss them in wagons and drive them out to some remote county jail for a few days of bliss in the general population.
There is a huge, qualitative difference between the actions of most Americans and the looters, arsonists, murderers and destroyers of everything. The police should act accordingly.
It is incumbent upon them to treat the average citizen with respect, courtesy and deference, and until policing in America is reformed, we will continue to have the huge gulf between police and the people. But the gloves should come off during insurrection, and I am confident that outside of the blue cities that have borne the brunt of the riots that the police would have the support of large majorities if they acted quickly, vigorously and violently to end the rioting.
How many of the rioters who receive a slap on the wrist or in most cases no penalty at all would show up for next week’s riot if they had caught several swings of a policeman’s baton strike and spent several days in jail?
What is unfortunate is that these riots have delayed any meaningful reform of American policing, possibly for years. And while that is unfortunate, I would prefer a robust and aggressive response from our nation’s police to the provocations of a mob, because that protects the rule of law at least as much as reforms would.