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  • Two weeks ago Charlottesville erupted into chaos.

  • Violence met the streets as a groups of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and far right demonstrators

  • clashed with counter-protesters.

  • Some have criticized and blamed the violence on the police response.

  • The police had every opportunity.

  • They're getting overtime pay, they're getting hazard pay, they've got tens of

  • thousands of dollars of equipment per officer and they came out here and guarded empty space

  • the entire day.”

  • But to better understand why the demonstration ended up the way it did, you have to understand

  • how riot control works.

  • The fundamental problem with riot control is that there are almost never more riot police

  • than rioters so the police need to artificially give themselves an advantage.

  • Part of it is psychological.

  • They make it so rioters think that the police could defeat them.

  • The uniforms riot police wear are intentionally dehumanizing.

  • Clad in protective gear head-to-toe, you can hardly tell one person from the next.

  • This creates a psychological barrier between the police and the rioters.

  • Studies have show that these uniforms make both protesters and the police themselves

  • feel like the police officers are more powerful than they are.

  • It has also been proven that the way riot police act increases their perceived power.

  • The officers almost always march and act in unison.

  • When they act as a collective, just like the protestors, they personally feel as if they

  • have the power of the collective and the crowd does too.

  • The most basic riot police formation looks like this.

  • With the goal of moving the crowd to another location, this front echelon slowly advances,

  • pushing rioters forward with their shields and batons.

  • They're followed by a team leader who organizes the whole group, most likely this officer

  • in this Charlottesville footage.

  • Right with the team leader are a few gas officers.

  • You can see one here.

  • They have tear gas or pepper spray to deploy over the front echelon towards any demonstrators

  • that put up a fight.

  • Following them is a group of arrest officers.

  • Should the front group encounter any particularly difficult rioters, they can open up, let the

  • demonstrator though, then the arresting officers can take the troublemaker into custody.

  • Finishing is the rear echelon which protects the group and can sub out with the front echelon

  • when they tire.

  • Violence happens at rallies because of three facts: crowds are anonymous, anonymity breeds

  • violence, and violence lowers consequences.

  • Crowds are deindividualizing.

  • When you're just one of a number, you don't think or act as much like an individual person.

  • A group of people all with a common goal and a common way of thinking breeds a collective

  • conscience.

  • In a crowd, people don't think about consequences the same way they do when they're on their

  • own.

  • There's a sort of contagion of feeling.

  • Just like a sports game or a nightclub, people act differently than they normally might because

  • other people do too.

  • There's a sort of wordless peer-pressure.

  • Individuals subconsciously escalate their violence to match that of the leaders.

  • People act almost by instinct in crowds and the individual breaks down and becomes a part

  • of the collective.

  • When there's widespread violence, individuals are punished less.

  • There's a lower sense of legal culpability since police often make far fewer arrests

  • than normal.

  • In a riot, authorities can't arrest everyone.

  • They target the leaders, the most violent protestors.

  • It's like running from a bear.

  • You don't have to be faster than the bear, you just have to be faster than the slowest

  • person.

  • Dozens or perhaps hundreds of people committed violent acts in Charlottesville that normally

  • would have resulted in arrests, but out of them, only eight were arrested.

  • Police have to be very careful with the directionality of the protest.

  • The police's goal is to stop or slow the riot while widespread arrests will often further

  • ignite the violence.

  • In Charlottesville, for example, if the police had intervened too strongly, the direction

  • could have turned and members of both groups could have directed their violence towards

  • the police.

  • Police never want to be perceived as unjust, in a riot scenario that is dangerous, so they

  • have to play a careful balancing act between too little and too much response.

  • So what went wrong in Charlottesville?

  • Why did it end up so violent and could the police have prevented it?

  • TheUnite the Rightrally was initially slated to begin at noon but by 9 am there

  • were already hundreds of demonstrators from both sides.

  • The police were not ready that early.

  • They weren't in their riot uniforms and they didn't have significant numbers.

  • The initial plan was to physically separate the two groups on separate sides of Emancipation

  • park in downtown Charlottesville.

  • There were barriers set up, but nobody seemed to anticipate the number of people that showed

  • up.

  • TheUnite the Rightrally was in fact a permitted assembly.

  • That group's presence at Emancipation park was fully legal, but the city did not want

  • them there specifically.

  • The city government tried to block the demonstration permit unless the group agreed to hold their

  • rally at nearby McIntire park, a much larger and more open park nearby, but the rally's

  • organizers successfully contested this move in court on first amendment grounds and was

  • allowed to hold their rally right there in downtown Charlottesville.

  • There simply was not enough space for the number of people who showed up, but the fundamental

  • issue in Charlottesville was numbers.

  • Charlottesville is a small town, fewer than 50,000 people live there, and their police

  • force is correspondently small.

  • While there were thousands of protestors, the police force had fewer than 130 officers.

  • At the same time, the officers working in Charlottesville were hardly experienced with

  • riots.

  • It's not a big city with frequent proteststhis might have been the first time many officers

  • used their riot gear in the field.

  • They could not afford for the violence to turn towards them.

  • While the chief of police hasn't spoke much about his tactics, experts have said that

  • the lack of initial intervention was likely a conscious choice to assure that the violence

  • stayed between protestors and protestors, not between protestors and police.

  • Virginia is an open-carry state and many demonstrators carried assault weapons so escalated aggression

  • could have turned the riot even deadlier.

  • At around 11:40 am, the Virginia State Police declared the protest an unlawful assembly

  • meaning it was then illegal to participate.

  • They subsequently began the process of breaking it up carefully.

  • Now, how you break up a protest is very important.

  • Doing it wrong can turn deadly.

  • Their first priority was clearing Emancipation Park.

  • This was both the symbolic and physical center of the protest.

  • They made it know that the assembly was now unlawful, “This gathering has been declared

  • to be an unlawful assembly,” then began to slowly work their way outwards in a uniform

  • fashion pushing back anyone who put up a fight.

  • They strategically removed the violence leaders from the public area.

  • Here you can see the man in red pulled through the front echelon of officers.

  • (12:10) He was likely brought into custody by the arrest officers behind the front echelon

  • since he was one of the main escalators.

  • There were other aggressors escalating the situation like this man with the flag, but

  • the police didn't risk breaking rank to take him into custody.

  • Doing so would expose officers to the violence of the main crowd.

  • Tear gas was used to get the final people out of the park.

  • Part of the reason tear gas is so effective is because the discomfort it brings makes

  • people stop their collective action to worry about themselves.

  • It takes them out of the mass and has them concentrate on the individual.

  • The park was eventually cleared but the riot largely continued on the surrounding streets.

  • What was important was that they police did not try to contain the demonstrators.

  • They did try to contain the violence, but not the people.

  • Whenever riot police intervenes, they always want to leave an escape route for the demonstrators

  • who decide that they've had enough and want to leave.

  • A big reason why riot police look and act so intimidatingly is to get rioters to leave.

  • This is, in fact, exactly how you stop a riotby getting people to leave.

  • In Charlottesville, after the clearing of Emancipation Park, many of the alt-right protestors

  • moved to a secondary location while the counter-protestors starting marching in the surrounding streets.

  • After many hours of violence, the groups did, to an extent, naturally separate from each

  • other given the additional space and pressure of the illegality of the protest.

  • The police had set up a plan to physically separate the opposing groups from the start

  • but that was an idealistic plan.

  • It was unrealistic to think that passionate, aggressive protestors would self-select into

  • their proper areas.

  • It's hard to know exactly if the police could have done a better job at preventing

  • violence.

  • From analysis its clear that they were overwhelmingly cautious in their techniques which some may

  • consider merited given their inexperience with riots and disadvantage in numbers.

  • The techniques riot police use are designed to give them an advantage where they don't

  • have one.

  • They're tasked with preventing damage, injuries, and death but they do have to play a careful

  • game of balance to make sure that violence isn't immediately directed towards them.

  • If they're overwhelmed with directed violence they can't effectively prevent damaging

  • violence.

  • The police are in a position where they're criticized when they have too little response

  • and criticized when they have too much.

  • Everyone's opinion on the proper level of response differs so it's almost impossible

  • for an assembly to occur without criticism of the police.

  • Charlottesville was an unfortunate situation where thousands of people all came into a

  • tiny town to hold one of the most violent and passionate protests of this decade.

  • The best analysis of the police's response may be in the outcome: there where no directly

  • preventable deaths and damage to the city was minimal.

  • The United States and many other countries around the world are centered on the idea

  • of free speech, so these police officers have the unenviable job of deciding where the demonstration

  • of this unalienable right stops and where dangerous, violent hooliganism begins.

  • On a lighter note, I'll be launching a brand new channel this Thursday, August 31st.

  • I don't want to reveal too much, but it's essentially the continuation of the old TWL

  • series.

  • All you should do now is subscribe here to get the first video right when it comes out.

Two weeks ago Charlottesville erupted into chaos.

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如何制止骚乱(How to Stop a Riot)

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    joey joey 發佈於 2021 年 06 月 10 日
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