My Authors
Read all threads
I've been reading cops on cop forums about the protests and the more I read.

It's not even the super evil stuff.

They just seriously don't get it and don't want to. Like the Buffalo incident. When people question them (other cops, not BPD ones) about it, it's normal to them.
They go, "Well, that was a riot line. The officers were moving in a line to push a perimeter. That's how you take control of space. You can't let somebody get behind you, so if they get in your way, you have to push them."
And it's like, oh, it's a "riot line"? Was there a riot? No, that's what they call it when they feel the need to control space. Why did they need to control that space? Because they wanted.
There was a series of choices - choices in their training, choices in the tactics they applied that day, choices individual officers made - that resulted in them ALMOST KILLING AN OLD MAN WHO WAS IN THEIR WAY AND NO THREAT.

"Damn civilians don't even know what a riot line is."
That's how they talk about it - it's our fault for not knowing and agreeing with their priorities and tactics. The old man should have known better than to get in the way of cops forming a riot line, because doing that means they can't stop and they can't let him get in the way.
It's where the banality of evil meets inside baseball. There's a legitimate culture gulf between police and "civilians". Which is BAD because they're supposed to be public servants.

I think about the culture gulf between evangelist sub-cultures (both literal Christian evangeilcals and other groups that combine an us-vs-them mentality with a drive to recruit) and the world outside, where on the inside you learn one way the world is supposed to work...
...and then you're sent out into the world with a bunch of training and lessons and approaches that don't actually hold up, don't net the response that you were told to expect, and how this deepens the divide between the sub-culture and the outside, hastens the indoctrination.
And then I read these cops talking like, oh, it's the most natural thing in the world to them in a way they feel should be obvious to everyone that when cops are walking in this particular way, they will absolutely not let you approach them, walk through them, or get behind them.
And since it's obvious to them, they don't communicate what they're doing, they don't stop when they encounter someone who doesn't get it, and they don't feel an ounce of remorse or regret for destroying someone who gets in their way, because "obviously" he knew better.
And I wonder - not to excuse cops attacking protesters and bystanders and journalists, and some of them are very clearly just going off to go off - but I wonder how much of the police turning protests violent stems from cops being trained *not* to communicate their intentions.
And from being trained to read basically everything as a prelude to violence. I mean, how many times have cops arrested or attacked protesters because of "attitudes" or "behaviors" that were seen as being "similar to" a riot or violence or whatever? I've seen that a lot.
Cops ARE trained to see threats everywhere, basically. That's part of their indoctrination, and it gets ramped up to 11 when the institution is threatened. ("Be careful out there." doesn't mean "Make sure you do everything by the book, people are watching.")
If you take that and add it to an insular culture where basically you only ever talk to other cops about this stuff so whatever the police formation signals to you just reads as "It's obvious what we're doing, so if people aren't responding appropriately that's non-compliance"...
...then basically you've got a perfect recipe for turning every protest you actually want to stop into a violent one, because these "misunderstandings" will abound.

And again, I say this not to excuse the police, but to consider the institutional rot behind the violence.
Hundreds of police from all over the country, probably thousands, are watching that video out of Buffalo and going, "Yeah, what was that old guy doing? Everything the cops are doing is perfectly reasonable." That's not just dishonesty and cop solidarity. It's how they see it.
This is why we need vastly different approaches. The police as an institution is creating and exacerbating these situations.
Absolutely, they can and do. They see the cops' proper priority in that scenario to be to hold the line together and keep moving forward. Because they're doing a riot line.

Saw more than one cop saying "He got medical attention, didn't he?" and

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh.

Keep Current with Alexandra Erin

Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!


This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!