Today’s Editorial Cartoon is sponsored by your local police department. OK maybe not but the cops are getting some bad reputations all over the U.S. as cities try to figure out how to manage the Occupy Wall Street and other Occupy protests.
First, I am a huge supporter of the police in general and the tough job they do. And they are just following orders in many cases. However, some of the tactics they have engaged in during the sweeps of the occupy locations are questionable at times. Maybe it is adrenaline or maybe it is just a few assholes on the force happy to show who is boss, but there has to be a better way.
Now I don’t for a minute think that in all cases the protestors who claim innocence are in fact so. When you come at a cop with a potential weapon or show aggression in response to an order, all bets are off.
But to let a group assemble for an extended period only to decide you have had enough and aggressively remove them without warning is wrong IMO. I get it though. If the cops announced they would be removing people at a specific time, they run the risk of additional protestors coming out in force to try and stop it putting officers at risk. Maybe a better way would have been to surround the park with officers and announce to the protestors that they had 30 minutes to remove themselves and any belongings they wanted to keep from the park. After that the park would be emptied with force if necessary. Seems to be what they are doing in Toronto by serving eviction notices.
Any thoughts on how to best manage the occupy movements so that they can remain peaceful, without crimes, sanitation issues and other problems that tend to start after prolonged encampments?