Take a look at the military assault type vehicles in the rear of this photo.
It’s from Ferguson, Missouri. It shows how militarized the police have become in many small towns in America. It looks like a scene from Gaza or Iraq because of the military vehicles being used against Americans in Ferguson.
There’s no excuse for the rioting in Ferguson. The word from the rioters is the rioting and the destruction was necessary to get news coverage of the murder of an African American and without the property damage the story would die just like all of the other stories about police shooting African-Americans. That’s no excuse. Massive civil wrongs have been corrected by non-violent demonstrations and huge changes have been made by people who join together to protect wrongs. Jesse Jackson called for no violence during the demonstrations. To the credit of most people, many of the residents of the area are trying to block protestors who are trying to enter stores to rob and loot.
If, however, the protestors are determined to rob, loot and ruin property then government must use and is justified in using massive force to restore order, calm and peace to the community. But Ferguson is getting way more force than is needed.
OTOH, the police must keep themselves safe in addition to keeping the community safe. Force is often the only response they can use.
Al Sharpton seems to be leading the response of “Hands Up”. Good for Al. People with their hands up are usually showing they will not resist but if they have their hands up and are continuing to move in a threatening manner and refuse to stop, what choices are left to the police? It’s not enough to be innocent. Demonstrators have an additional attribute to display. They must not make threats by their body language. Police have the exclusive right as well as the power to use force.