It is nothing new to the political arena – when a presidential candidate speaks, there are those who set up outside the area and protest that candidate’s politics. This is especially true for politicians which speak in states that are not associated with their party. And while most of these protests have remained within the boundaries of peaceful opposition, recent events show that the definitive line between healthy disagreement and rioting at a criminal level has been crossed.
Just the Facts
According to Fox News, Trump Supporters were attacked on June 2nd. Video of the protestors show some of the followers being hit with eggs and physically assaulted. The cameras show several supporters bloodied and goes on further to state that several policemen were assaulted when they finally intervened. CBS reported that over a dozen fights broke out during the riot (ie, not protest). The report shows one man being assaulted by several individuals. Street fights, car vandalism, and thrown bottles were all a part of the experience. Both networks reported that out of the hundreds of people who were rioting and protesting and all of the attacks, only 4 people were arrested, though the networks clearly show the faces of more assailants.
A great deal of criticism has been given to the police department for their lack of response. And while I do believe that the police could have been more aggressive in their approach to the situation, you must also understand that the situation had to be evaluated and a strategic plan needed to be put into place. It would not have done any good to send in the police into a riot of hundreds of people unless they had enough men to combat the rioters. That being said, when people were being run down by the mob, the police should have acted quickly and decisively to break up the mob. Pepper Spray Grenades would have been highly effective in this situation as I only saw a few people who looked prepped for the traditional mob dispersion methods from the police.
Were the police laxidasical in their job? Yes, and to a fault. However, let us not pass the blame to the police as being the main culprit here. I believe that more focus is being given to the police not stepping in and the main issues are being ignored, so let us address them here:
- Grown men watched women and young adults get attacked When did chivalry become so dead that grown men would not come to the aid of a woman in trouble? Instead of standing to defend the women (regardless of their view) from harm, many men joined in cheering and throwing insults. Others just stood by with hands crossed.
- When did burning the American Flag become OK? According to the law, it is not unlawful to burn the American Flag. I was raised under the perception that to burn the flag was a statement of hate and terrorism to the United States. However, in 1990 the Supreme Court Upheld that burning the flag was protected under the First Amendment. Even though burning the National Symbol of our country is not illegal the person that started the fire can be charged with a misdemeanor for burning without a permit. I am sure that Harlon Block, Franklin Sousley, Micheal Strank, Rene Gagnon, Ira Hays, and John Bradley would disagree. For those of you who do not know, these are the men who made the Raising of the Flag on Iwo Jima Photograph iconic.
- Where is the accountability? – There were several networks which had several people’s faces captured performing crimes ranging from assault and battery to assault on a police officer. Given that there were over a dozen fights and other crimes, it would seem to reason that the police would be using the media tapes to track down and make more arrests, especially if the state wants to appear to be non-biased and non-racial in its stance against protestors and rioters.
When You Cannot Play the Race Card Blame the Police
Trump has spoken out against the police’s inactivity, and I for one am happy that he has. There has to be a level of accountability on the police for not moving in and taking control. At the same time, I do not support the full blown attack on the police as the media and several accounts of the riot have done. It appears that the typical formula for the media has come again to fruition. If it is not a black man or minority who has been assaulted or killed by a rioter or a police officer, then it must be the fault of the police.
Those wanting to find the source of the riot and the cause for the disorder need only to look at the indifference of the people and a country that allows their own to burn and desecrate a symbol which others have fought so hard to protect.