From time to time, there are reports in the media about police officers who have been charged with a crime. When this occurs, the police chief or some other high ranking official comes before the media and refers to the officer as a "bad apple." We are told that we shouldn't judge the entire police force based on the questionable actions of one solitary individual. In most cases, this is a fair point.
So, why is it that the police themselves seem unwilling to utilize this rationale when it comes to protesters? Joshua Holland reports at Alternet that, faced with a handful of violent protesters in a sea of nearly 1,000 PEACEFUL protesters in Oakland yesterday, the Oakland PD employed violent tactics on the entire group!! There are reports of tear gas, flash grenades and bean bags being shot indiscriminately at the protesters.
There is no question that a few people in this large crowd threw objects at the police. Many of the peaceful protesters confronted the few less-than-peaceful ones and encouraged them to desist. But the police made no such efforts. Once a few objects were hurled, they used these acts as a convenient excuse to manhandle anyone they could get their hands on!
This type of strategy is being employed by police departments across the nation.