Sheriff in Michigan county walks with protesters

Sheriff in Michigan county walks with protesters

This is admirable leadership, and brave, but he had the good fortune to address a crowd that was peaceful and receptive to his gesture. Not every cop is so lucky.

Not every protester is so lucky as to encounter a cop in the mood for conciliation either.

Some protesters have shrewdly begun riding herd on the miscreants in their midst. I posted a clip yesterday of demonstrators blocking off a Target in Brooklyn that was about to be looted. Last night in D.C. people gang-tackled some degenerate who was knocking bricks out of the sidewalk so that he’d have something to throw through windows — or at cops — and they literally handed him over to the police.

The Michigan sheriff, Christopher Swanson of Genesee County, said afterwards that he was afraid to take off his gear and wade into a crowd which he knew was suspicious of police but that de-escalation required it. And de-escalation is the only way out of this that won’t make things worse, especially long-term. “Police leadership needs to take action on breaking down the first barrier,” he told the Detroit Free Press. “Police leadership, if they’re not doing it already, come from behind your podiums, come from outside the conference rooms and the incident command centers, talk to the people. That is the difference. People that have something to say when nobody listens continues to be enraged and we are not going to fix the divide overnight, but you can see what happened instantaneously.” Watch two clips here, the start of the march and the end.

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