Ferguson Protesters proposed "Rules of Engagement" opinions?

Warning PDF.

Curious what people think of these rules of engagement that a protest group provided the sheriffs office in Ferguson, specifically preparing for the Grand Jury results. Some of these seem like common sense and others just seem idiotic.

Why on earth would they want to do that? So more people can mass in the area of an already chaotic scene?

Why would any police officer agree to this in advance? Totally unreasonable to expect the cops to sign on to that. If I’m walking into a minefield I’m wearing a bomb suit. This is already going to be a preordained riot, there’s no way I’m going to try to keep the peace at that dressed in sweat pants and flip flops.

I’m not even sure what a “safe house” is in this instance

Again, how is this reasonable? Why would the police consider agreeing to this?

Why would I say upfront that this is ok? The cops aren’t there to decide what laws are important. They are there to enforce them. No, I don’t think someone needs a beat down for hucking an empty water bottle at a cop, but I do think he could rightfully be apprehended and charged with assault. Why would this be different?

The rest of this thing seems pretty reasonable and mostly common sense.

Just as the protesters won’t abide by any rules the police publish, the police aren’t about to honor these insane requests.

To better explain my feelings about “14”, sure it seems like giving the protesters more leeway, more space and longer time to protest seems fairly harmless, but what about all the normal, non-protesting citizens of Ferguson, who want to continue their daily lives, go to work, play with the park, walk to the convenience store etc…? How long can you ask them to just bear with it? I remember reading a few articles about business owners who were basically shut down for weeks due to the protests last time.

And what happens exactly when someone breaks the ‘riot rules’?! This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever read. This is a potential civil insurrection. Have the National Guard ready with water cannons, tear gas, and machine guns, in that order. Anyone dumb enough to go up against them deserves whatever they get. This is black racism and opportunism, pure & simple. And not reverse-racism, just racism.

I’m very sympathetic to the protestors, but I think these rules are kinda nuts.

There should be no throwing of anything by anybody. If they mean military tanks in regards to specialized gear, then ok, but otherwise, the police have to be safe in a volatile situation. The civilians would be wise to wear protective gear too, but I doubt they have access to it.

I sincerely hope that there will be no violence, but I have to admit, I’m worried.

I still remember the “sympathy” blockade of the PATH in Jersey City by armed protesters after Rodney King. Cops on roof tops and outside the crowd; the crowd 200 deep and with an obvious bulge in everyone’s wasteband
(and this was years before common cellphones) while drivers slowly tried to drive out of the city without drawing attention or attack.

I remember fitting as many co workers as I could fit in my car and driving them out to common pick up points phone-tagged to their loved ones from the office building… seatbelt laws and occupancy limits be damned
(one was The Meadowlands Parking Lot).

I was almost 3000 miles away from the situation and it was still a “hammers-back” flash point that could have escalated into a fire fight way too easily.
I’m older now and admittedly a lot less able to defend myself against any crowd, let alone an armed mob.

I’m worried too.

Looks to me like these people are bound and determined to protest, even if there is an indictment–which makes little sense to me.

That said, no, proposed rioters do not get to dictate police response. If they damage property or otherwise engage in criminal acts, they should be arrested by whatever means are necessary, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

I’m pretty sure that nearly all police forces already make such assessments, overlooking lesser offenses in cases where much greater offenses are likely.

If there’s an angry crowd of several thousand, and all they’re doing is throwing water bottles, I’d bet the police are actually relatively happy with that. Especially if, over on the next block, there are storefronts on fire.

Imagine if rowdy students in school issued a similar list of demands to teachers and the principal.

“The teacher shall not retaliate when chewed gum is flung at him.”

“Disciplinary action shall not be taken except in extreme instances.”

I don’t disagree that the cops would likely ignore those infractions in this circumstance, but it’s like telling your kid they need to turn their TV off at 10pm and go to bed or else! You walk by the room at 10:05 and the TV is on, walk by again at 10:15 and it’s off. Yeah, most parents aren’t going to bust that infraction, but you’re also not going to tell them that up front. Same idea here.

I think the idea that throwing bottles at the police is a minor infraction tells us all we need to know about the mentality of the protesters.

What minor infractions of the law by the police are the protesters prepared to overlook before escalating to violence? Is it only one side that gets to break the law unmolested?


I’ve been trying to steer clear of posting on these threads, but I don’t think I’d be expressing a very extreme sentiment if I said that police should not have to put up with having garbage thrown at them while doing their job, nor should throwing garbage at policemen be tolerated as acceptable or lawful behavior.

I think they should demand the same degree of deference given to Cliven Bundy and his band of protestors. In so many words.

It appears that the various protestor leaderships needed to give their followers one more thing to complain about. None of these “suggestions” are legally binding and some of them are obviously absurd.

The police have been receiving death threats from protestors from day 1. The police will respond to these death threats with body armor, training, organization, pepper spray, and firearms if necessary.

The protestors and CNN have continually allowed false information to circulate about who did what when and why. Anything to gin up support to keep the protest going.

A safe house would be an area where the police would not be allowed to pursue rioters, looters, and arsonists. That ain’t gonna fly with the police or the National Guard.

Hopefully, the residence will get their wish that the protestors and their leadership would just go away and take the biased CNN reporting with them.

This may be some schadenfreude showing, but I heard that Elizabeth Vega, one of the protest leaders had her car stolen in Ferguson, while she was at a “Fuck the Police” rally.

Never heard if she actually reported the theft to the police or is seeking their assistance in recovering her car.

Wow! Just … wow. I like this from you very much! Is this MB actually working?

Some of the “requests” seem to contradict themselves. If water bottles can be thrown, then some “specialized riot gear” is absolutely necessary for the police to defend themselves.

I can see valid reasons for some of these, at least at a “front line” level. You don’t really need the front line of the police to have tear gas or armored vehicles, but they should be available in reserve. The last thing we need is another Kent State.

Not tolerated as lawful, but tolerated as the lesser of two evils.

These aren’t ordinary situations; it’s a case where the police are on the knife-edge of a major riot. Going after the garbage throwers might lead to people’s deaths and the destruction of a lot of private property.

It isn’t admirable intrinsically, but it is realistic to try to keep from making things spiral up into a complete disaster.

Hyper-pedantic clinging to rules is silly in disaster or near-disaster situations. When someone breaks a window of a car in a parking lot, to rescue a child who is slowly baking to death, the police don’t charge them with breaking-and-entering.

I’m typically extremely critical of the police and police culture in the United States, but these proposed rules made me laugh. I’ll be the first to get pissed off when a bunch of thuggish cops decide to throw their weight around at a peaceful protest - this makes it look like the protesters are trying to set up the ideal conditions for a riot. If a riot’s what they have on their mind I hope the police show up ready for war.

Not at all the same situation. The potential of the Bundy protesters was more dangerous and sinister. But the worst never happened. The reality of the Furguson protests so far have been much worse.

I wasn’t happy that they just walked away from the Bundy situation but I suspect it may have been the least harmful course of action.

I think the whole very specific water bottle example is strange. Throw an empty water bottle and it doesn’t really matter. Throw a full bottle and it is much more dangerous. Throw a bottle of frozen water and it’s even more dangerous. Or you could fill it with bodily fluids. Or gasoline. Or bleach. A water bottle isn’t necessarily a harmless object.