My first inclination upon returning back to 1115 after Thanksgiving was to comment on the terrifying night-time raid the NYPD carried out upon the 9,000 people camping outside of the Macy’s in Herald Square. But then I realized that never happened.
In other news, an internal NYPD Disorder Control Unit document was snagged by an arrested Occupy Wall Street protester who found it in the back of a police van. The document mainly states the Do’s and Don’ts that officers should follow when attempting to control “disorderly and violent groups.” There are some obvious guidelines that one would expect from the police during such a civil disorder incident like “maintain firearms discipline” and “do not engage in unnecessary conversation.” But the guidelines also insist that the officers maintain a “strong military presence” and to “always” have their helmets and baton ready for “immediate use.”
In a previous post I wrote about the Pepper-Spraying incident at UC Davis and the all too common conflict that arises when a militarized police force confronts peaceful protesters. Another such instance is pictured above, where a white shirt NYPD officer punched an OWS protester without provocation. In this case, it was a high-ranking officer who acted up. I think it’s safe to say that when officers are told that they have to rise above their regular policing role to produce the semblance of a “strong military presence”, things are going to go awry and nobody wins in the end.