Proportionate Use of Force

by zunguzungu

The UC regents are meeting today and tomorrow to vote on further fee hikes. This is a police officer drawing his firearm on protesters this morning. Nothing can go wrong with that!

For details, see here, here, here.

Also pepper spray:

Update: These pictures are powerful. But they enclose only part of what’s happening, framing only a tiny and heavily edited version of the larger event. Are the protesters a mob of pitchfork wielding barbarians? Or are they just standing there holding signs? All we know is that a policeman pulled out a firearm, and that the protesters had pepper spray doused at them. But anyone who draws a firearm without intending to use and except as a last resort it is a fool, and a dangerous one. And firing pepper spray into a crowd is quite a thing.

Some video of officer Kemper here, though only from a certain point. Ask yourself when you watch it: was he ever in danger for his life? Guns go off. This is not a cowboy movie. People can die. If he had fired into the crowd, would it have been anything but a scared cop who preferred to kill rather than lose control? Framing is important.

Here’s another edited version of the larger story, a tweet from a Contra Costa reporter:

New numbers from UC: 13 arrests, incl. 11 students. 1 felony charge (assault on officer), 12 misdemeanors. 3 officers injured.

Categories are powerful. There are no injured students here. And police do not get charged with crimes.